What if Koda, Raja become PM: Bhushan
I think it is the most basic requirement of including the Prime Minister in the Lokpal Bill draft. The points Shanti Bhushan, a member of the drafting committee, quoted are more than valid and there should be no two opinions in this. If the government does not agree with the points raised by Shanti Bhushan then it would be perceived that it is preset to have a Lokpal Bill just for show business.
If Devegowda could become the Prime Minister then where is the apprehension of Madhu Koda or A Raja not becoming Prime Minister? Shanti Bhushan defused the point of the government that the PM under the ambit of Lokpal would be dysfunctional by citing examples of former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Narshimha Rao, who under investigation of Bofors and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha cases did not become dysfunctional. Even if the prime minister becomes dysfunctional due to his wrong doings, let it be so. No excuse should be considered more important than corruption.
At a time this issue of Lokpal Bill has taken momentum when this government and its Head, the Prime Minister could not stop scam after scam under their nose creating the atmosphere of finding some mechanism through which the corruption could be tackled. What are fears of government members in the drafting committee? If the Prime Minister is honest and does his job with full power, the question of bringing allegations against him would be nil. But, the Congress Party is well aware of the fact that it would be in dire problems if the bill is passed with the points demanded by the civil society members lead by Anna Hazare. Why not a referendum is carried out to see the pulse of the people of this country in this respect? Immunity to ministers, MPs, and bureaucrats should be stopped as they are only people’s representatives to work for the people, not for making illegal money for themselves. Another vital point Bhushan mentioned that is if the PM is outside the purview of the Lokpal, then more important ministries would be kept under him giving those ministries to enjoy the immunity from Lokpal. Shanty Bhushan has sent a letter to the Chairman of the drafting committee Pranab Mukherjee and the outcome is awaited.
The corrupt High Court judges and Supreme Court judges at present get away from their corruption related acts because no case can be lodged against them without the permission of the Chief Justice of India. In the last 20 years only two such permissions were given against two judges; whereas there were many allegations of corruption against many judges. This is another example how immunity works adversely. Therefore, the judges of HC and SC should also be included in the ambit of Lokpal, explained Bhushan. Instead of resting the power for permission with the CJI, it should be given to a seven member bench of Lokpal, according to Bhushan.
The basic question is why the powerful people in the government and judiciary should be given opportunities for indulging corrupt practices?