Team Anna dumps new Lokpal bill

Ghaziabad: Team Anna today rejected the Lokpal bill describing it as "anti-people and dangerous" and demanded that a new bill be brought in Parliament that will make CBI independent and decentralise the proposed anti-corruption body.

Addressing a press conference, Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said the new bill was "worse" than the legislation introduced in August in Lok Sabha alleging that the government does not want a comprehensive anti-graft ombudsman.

"Under the present bill, government will have all the control over Lokpal as it will have powers to appoint and remove members at its will. It is worse than the Lokpal Bill introduced in August. We reject the (new) bill, withdraw it and introduce it after redrafting it," Kejriwal said. Describing the new bill as "anti-people and dangerous", he said the proposed legislation is meant to crush the rights enjoyed by people. "Only five per cent of employees are in its ambit. Big companies are out of it,"he said.

"Who all are in? Temples, mosques, schools, colleges, hospitals, dispensaries, cricket clubs, gurudwaras, self help groups are under it. Even doctors, pujaris, priests, maulanas, all will be deemed to public servants. The government thinks that all the citizens are corrupt but the leaders and employees are clean," he said. Kejriwal said the government will have full control over the proposed body as it will be selected by a panel dominated by political leaders. He alleged this bill would make CBI "completely ineffective". "Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition will not want a strong CBI Director. They don`t want put their lives in difficulty by having a strong CBI Director," Kejriwal said.

He said complainants will have a difficult time in getting their complaints addressed. "Every investigation goes to CBI. CVC will also forward the cases to CBI, Lokpal will also sent cases to CBI. CBI is under the control of government. The whole anti-corruption investigations will remain under government control," he said.

Criticising the provisions in the bill, Kejriwal said for the first time after independence, government has shown so much sensitivity to corrupt officials and decided to provide free legal help to them. "Till now, even in Prevention of Corruption Act, there is no provision to provide legal help to a corrupt officer," he said. He also alleged that the present bill was making Lokpal a "den of corruption". Kejriwal said Anna Hazare will go on fast for three days from December 27 at Azad Maidan in Mumbai.