Strong and effective Lokpal necessary:CPI

Patna: The draft Lokpal Bill is `extremely weak` and it requires amendments to make it strong and effective to rein in corruption, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said today. "CPI has placed a clear demand for bringing the prime minister within the ambit of Lokpal," Bardhan said adding there was no meaning for immunity to PM on the issue.

"The Prevention of Corruption Act and other criminal codes do not provide immunity to the PM. Then what is the meaning of not bringing the PM within the Lokpal`s ambit," he said. The government should bring all the officials and employees from grades A to C under the purview of the Lokpal.

"Let the purview of Lokpal expand, but a system has to be developed for a wider, effective and strong watchdog." He said CBI should also be freed from government control and brought within the Lokpal`s ambit as it would come in handy to check use of the agency for political purposes. Sticking to CPI demand for keeping the judiciary away from Lokpal`s jurisdiction, Bardhan said there was necessity for setting up a National Judicial Commission.

"It is a 10 to 15 year old demand … The judges` appointment, promotion and transfer should be taken care of by the commission," he said. Referring to the black money stashed in banks abroad, Bardhan said "It is an act of treason." The government should make public the names of those who have parked their money abroad, he demanded. The CPI leader also advocated developing a system for purchase of foodgrains from farmers for determining food security.