Team Anna firm on bringing PM, CBI under Lokpal (Lead)

December 14th, 2011 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) Team Anna Wednesday stuck to its demand for bringing the prime minister and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the anti-corruption Lokpal and indicated that venue of its planned protest from Dec 27 could be shifted to Mumbai if it is too cold in the national capital.

“On Dec 27th, there will be a guaranteed public discussion either as a fast or as a celebration. Keeping in view the weather conditions in Delhi at that time, we have applied for the booking of Mumbai’s Azad Maidan as an alternative,” Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal told reporters after a core committee meeting.

“It’s being said that the bill will be presented in parliament on Dec 20. So on 20th, all the members of the core committee will go to parliament to observe the debate from the visitors’ gallery,” he said, ahead of an all-party meeting convened by the government to discuss the issue.

Prashant Bhushan said inclusion of prime minister, Central Bureau of Investigation, lower bureaucracy and citizen’s charter were critical issues for Team Hazare.

Kejriwal said that two resolutions were passed at the core committee meeting. “We had passed a resolution on Aug 27 that the citizen’s charter and entire bureaucracy will be brought under the Lokpal jurisdiction. PM wrote a letter to Anna agreeing on this matter. But Abhishek Manu Singhvi, acting through the standing committee, has insulted the nation by not obeying this suggestion,” he said.

He said the cabinet had Tuesday approved a separate law concerning citizen’s charter.

“The cabinet has also insulted the parliament, In doing so, it seems, the government is trying to bully the parliament,” Kejriwal said.

He also refuted allegations by Congress that the all-party debate on Lokpal at Jantar Mantar was an insult to parliament. “We don’t agree with this…We accept the supremacy of the parliament but debating any issue is not a sole right reserved by the parliament,” he said.

On inclusion of CBI under Lokpal, Kejriwal said Team Anna had always made the demand.
“We feel that lokpal without its own investigation arm which can only be CBI, is just an empty tinbox,” he said.

He said Anna’s campaign shouldn’t be used as an excuse for dividing CBI.

“We support all the objections CBI has raised. There can’t be several offices to which CBI will be accountable. There can’t be multiple bosses for CBI.”

He said the CBI director should be appointed by Lokpal or the director should be selected just like other Lokpal members. “CBI’s superintending, administrative and financial control should be with Lokpal. CBI director should report to Lokpal.”

Bhushan said Team Anna had recommended a broad, independent selection committee for selection of Lokpal but the government has proposed a five-member committee out of which two will be from the government.

He said the body proposed under the judicial standards and accountability bill hasn’t been given the powers to investigate corruption.

“The body is such that the judge who’s being charged of corruption, will be tried by a committee of his/her own colleagues,” he said.

Bhushan said a full time judicial commission should be formed, independent from both judiciary and government, which should have the right to investigate corruption and allegations of misconduct.

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