Proposed anti-graft law in India will be tough

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Old 11-Apr-2011
Proposed anti-graft law in India will be tough

The activists' version of the Lokpal Bill will be the basis for a stringent anti-graft law, Arvind Kejriwal, one of the members of the bill's joint drafting panel said.

"The Jan Lokpal Bill is going to be basis of discussion," Kejriwal said in an interview to CNN-IBN's Karan Thapar on Sunday.

The government had last week acceded to the demands of veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare after thousands of people supported his five-day-long fast-unto-death. A joint committee has been notified to draft the bill, whose civilian members are Hazare, Kejriwal, Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and his father Shanti Bhushan.

Kejriwal defended the inclusion of his friends and associates in the committee, rather than getting other members.

"We drafted the Jan Lokpal Bill. Therefore, these people can talk clause by clause with the government," he said. He denied that they were being narrow-minded to exclude any other formulations outside the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Kejriwal also denied that the activists' version of the bill concentrated unprecedented powers into the office of the Lokpal.

"Now, the Lokpal has broadly four functions vigilance, criminal, public grievance and whistle-blower protection," he said, adding that the powers to be given to the Lokpal would be the same that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Income Tax authorities have.

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