Lokpal bill weak, should cover PM: Karat

August 5th, 2011 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Kolkata, Aug 5 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Friday lashed out at the Lokpal Bill tabled in parliament, denouncing it as a weak ‘Lokpal’ and demanding that the prime minister should be brought under its ambit.

“Yesterday (Thursday), they (United Progressive Alliance government) have introduced a Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha. That bill will set up a very weak Lokpal, a Lokpal which has no effective powers. We have from our party have spelt out about what should be done to fight corruption,” said Karat while addressing a party programme here.

“We have felt that there should be a Lokpal who can look into all instances of corruption including the prime minister also. The prime minister must also come under the purview of the Lokpal but this bill has exempts the prime minister. But it has a peculiar provision in the bill it says that the prime minister can be proceeded after he ceases to be the prime minister,” Karat said.

The Congress-led UPA government Thursday stuck to its promise by introducing the much-debated anti-graft Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha, sparking off protests from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and civil society activists led by Anna Hazare for excluding the prime minister from its ambit.

“That means it recognizes that there can be corruption by the prime minister but when he is a prime minister, nothing can be done. It means if a prime minister indulges in corruption in the first year of his term you know about it but you can’t do anything about it you have to wait for five years for his term to be over,” Karat said.

“We should be grateful to the Congress party for not saying that the prime minister can only be proceeded not only after he retires, but after he dies. This is the type of commitment to fight corruption,” he said

Karat also questioned the independence of the Lokpal if the government has the power to remove him.

“Secondly how can you have a Lokpal mainly by a committee full of government people and the power of the removal of Lokpal lies with the government so can he be independent,” he asked.

Karat also said that in order to fight corruption in judiciary, there should also have a mechanism like the national judicial commission.

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