Group mounts pressure on MPs


Staff member
Mumbai: Mounting pressure on the government ahead of Anna Hazare's impending fast in Mumbai and debate on the ombudsman bill in Parliament, India Against Corruption (IAC) yesterday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and lawmakers to "give the country a real anti-corruption law".

In an open letter to the Prime Minister and MPs, the NGO spearheading Hazare's anti-corruption movement made four suggestions, including one to vest in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (state-level ombudsman) power to initiate suo motu investigation so as to make the bill effective.

Suo motu investigations

"[While] we are on record with our displeasure over the current draft of the bill, we are also keen that the best possible law should now emerge from the debate in the people's Houses. Therefore, we place before our MPs the following representation, in the expectation and hope that they will articulate this in Parliament and ensure passage of a bill that contains these provisions," the IAC wrote.

"Without these provisions, the Lokpal bill will be just another law — one among many that have proven ineffective so far," the letter stated. According to IAC, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas must be able to suo motu initiate investigations without a complaint or reference from anyone.