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English Release 22-December 2014
Date Month Year
  • President's Secretariat
  • President of India’s message on the eve of National Day of Japan
  • Min of Agriculture
  • Year end Review for the Ministry of Agriculture for the Year 2014-15
  • Min of Chemicals and Fertilizers
  • Revival of Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT)
  • Gujarat Chief Minister Mrs Anandiben Patel Discusses Various Projects Relating to the State in the Ministry with Chemicals & Fertilizer Minister Shri Ananth Kumar
  • Min of Civil Aviation
  • Airports Improve in Service Quality
  • Waiting Time within OMDA Standards at Domestic Terminals of IGI Airport
  • Non-aeronautical Revenue of AAI increases
  • Min of Coal
  • Dependent on Coal Mines of end use Projects
  • Auction of Coal Blocks for Power Sector
  • Guidelines for E-Auction of Coal
  • Auction of Coal Blocks
  • Min of Culture
  • Panoramic Imagery of monuments
  • Ticketed Monuments of ASI
  • Funds to Zonal Cultural Centres
  • Min of Defence
  • In Furtherance of the Democratic Process - Employment of IAF Helicopters During Assembly Elections in Jharkhand and J&K
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Auction for Sale (Re-Issue) of Government Stock

  • Most of the States to benefit from GST from day one; Provisions have been Made in the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST to Ensure that none of the States Lose any Revenue after the Implementation of the GST: FM
  • Min of Health and Family Welfare
  • Shri J P Nadda directs central team to visit Chandigarh to support the UT in managing Avian Flu
  • Statement by Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health & Family Welfare on 22nd December, 2014 in Lok Sabha in response to the call attention motion regarding the situation arising out of spread of “Encephalitis’’ in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country and steps taken by the Government in this regard
  • Min of Human Resource Development
  • E-Education Through Broadband Facility
  • ‘Teaching of Science’- A Component of National Curriculum Framework - 2005
  • Higher Education for Person with Special Needs (HEPSN)
  • Min of Labour & Employment
  • Unemployed due to Closure of Industries
  • Registered Unorganised Sector Workers
  • Min of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises
  • Prime Minister’s Task Force on MSME
  • Performance of MSME Sector
  • Marketing Assistance Scheme under MSME
  • KVIC Schemes
  • Industrial Clusters under SFURTI
  • Workshed Scheme for Khadi Artisans
  • Min of Mines
  • Mining Lease in Tribal Areas
  • Allocation of Bauxite Mines
  • Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • Review of DBTL in Uttar Pradesh through Video Conferencing
  • Demand and Supply of Natural Gas
  • CSR by OMCs
  • Deregulation of Diesel and Natural Gas Pricing
  • Global crude oil price of Indian Basket was US$ 56.91 per bbl on 19.12.2014
  • Min of Power
  • Commissioning of Power Projects
  • Separate Feeders for Farm and Nonfarm Users in Rural Areas
  • Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal, and Renewable Energy Submits its Report
  • Ministry of Railways
  • Railway Minister Directs for Formulation of Integrated Policy on Cleanliness
  • Railways Constitutes Task force for Leveraging of Idle Space on Railways to Generate Additional Revenue
  • Railways Vacant Land to be Utilized for Commercial Development Through RLDA
  • Indian Railways Run 1158 Superfast Trains
  • Measures Taken to Strngthen Security on Railways
  • Guidelines for Rauilway Coolies
  • Indian Railways’ Initiatives to Encourage Foreign Investors for Making Investment Under ‘Make In India’ Programme
  • Min of Road Transport & Highways
  • Pilot Projects Launched for Emergency Care of Road Accident Victims
  • Government Approves Scheme for I&C Centres for Motor Vehicles
  • Training for Drivers of Unorganised Sector
  • Min of Science & Technology
  • Understanding Innovation: Indian National Innovation Report by DST
  • Min of Shipping
  • MoU for Commercially Viable Stretches of National Waterway-5
  • No Case of Dumping Hazardous Waste by Ship-breaking
  • Government Takes Initiatives To Increase Coastal Movement of Cargo
  • Min of Steel
  • Health and Safety Records in Steel Sector
  • Mining by Steel PSUS in Foreign Countries
  • Joint Venture in Steel Industry
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Study to assess impact of International Media Campaign of Ministry of Tourism
  • Central Financial assistance for damage to tourist facilities in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh by Cyclone Hudhud
  • Min of Tribal Affairs
  • Literacy Among Tribals
  • Development Schemes for Tribals
  • Rights of Tribals
  • Min of Women and Child Development
  • The Indian Region Seminar of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians highlights need for greater safety of women and empowerment at grassroots level
  • Consultative Committee of Women & Child Development Ministry meets to discuss Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme

Previous Date

 
Special Service and Features30-June, 2011 16:30 IST
Jan Lokpal : Cure Worse than the Disease (Part-II)

Kapil Sibal*

The jurisdiction of the Jan Lokpal Bill is all pervasive. It covers all public servants including members of the higher Judiciary. This Legislation seeks to break new ground. It is an attempt to reign in and discipline members of the higher Judiciary. This has far reaching consequences. First, some eminent Jurists believe it might fall foul of the basic structure of the Constitution. The autonomy and independence of the Judiciary is protected under the Constitution, which allows a member of the higher Judiciary to be removed only through the cumbersome impeachment process. The intent was to ensure that justice is administered without fear or favour. Instead, we need a robust Judicial Accountability Bill.

The Jan Lokpal Bill provides an alternative machinery wherein 11 unelected wise men will have the sole authority to prosecute a member of the higher Judiciary. The consequences are even worse, when you consider that under it the Jan Lokpal Bill will have independent investigating and prosecuting agencies. No judge will ever dare differ with the views of a prosecutor of the Jan Lokpal since he might face prosecution himself if his orders are misunderstood.

One of the litigants to a dispute is always unhappy with the outcome of a Court proceeding. Presently, unhappy litigants are willing to face the wrath of the Court by hurling unsubstantiated scandalous allegations against Judges. With the Jan Lokpal in place, these allegations will be made on a daily basis, threatening the autonomy of the judicial process, vitiating the course of justice. We cannot allow this to happen.

The second matter of concern is that the Jan Lokpal seeks to arrogate to itself the power to discipline Government servants. This would require a Constitutional amendment. At present, the tenure of a Government servant is protected by the procedural requirements embedded in Article 311 of the Constitution. Besides, the quantum of punishment is required to be determined by the Union Public Service Commission on a reference made to it under Article 320 (3)(c) of the Constitution. In the event of such an amendment, the Jan Lokpal will have the authority to discipline all employees of the Central Government. This is a directional shift from the existing Constitutional structure and interferes directly in matters of mal-administration.

This will paralyze Government functioning. Government servants will be fearful of possible disciplinary proceedings and loath to obey the hierarchy of officers above them. No Government can and should allow this to happen. Everyday complaints will be lodged by Government servants against each other to settle personal grievances. Decision-making will be a casualty for fear of a complaint by a colleague. Those far removed from administration are providing solutions, which are both utopian and impractical.

The Jan Lokpal also wishes to bring the office of the Prime Minister under its jurisdiction. In a democracy, all public servants are accountable. None can object in principle to such a proposition. The issue is whether the Jan Lokpal consisting of 11 wise-men should be given that authority? One Jurist has recently opined that past experience does not show that all our Prime Ministers have been angels. I humbly submit that this also holds true of our judges. That all are not angels. Our future experience is also likely to prove that members of the Jan Lokpal are also not angels. Independence does not make functionaries angelic.

None of us is being more loyal than the King when we seek to protect, not the individual, but the office of the Prime Minister. Given the nature of our polity, quick-fire unsubstantiated allegations made for political mileage are likely to paralyze Institutions. The office of the Prime Minister is the lynchpin of our Parliamentary democracy. An independent non-angelic Jan Lokpal could well destabilize the entire system and investigate a Prime Minister only to find out that the allegations were not true. That is a distinct possibility. Such an eventuality will diminish Parliamentary democracy.

Under the present system, the Prime Minister is not immune from prosecution. In a given case, when facts are in the public domain, the system will not allow a corrupt Prime Minister continue in office. The reference to Jacques Chirac by an eminent jurist is inapt because his prosecution started several years after demitting office, since the French President has immunity from prosecution while in office. Besides, the prosecution relates to a time when he was the Mayor of Paris (1977 – 1995). Reference to Silvio Berlusconi is equally inappropriate.

Given an unstable neighbourhood and terrorism being a real threat, weakening the Institution of the Prime Minister would be a monumental folly.

Yet another concern is the attempt by the Jan Lokpal to prosecute Members of Parliament, who are protected under Article 105(2) of the Constitution only for speeches made, and the right to vote exercised, in the House. These are two precious rights. To allow them to be the subject of investigation would encourage members of an intensely polarized polity to question every speech made and every vote cast. This is hardly a recipe for a mature solution. Such a power vested in the Lokpal would again require an amendment to the Constitution. The remedy lies with the Ethics Committees of Parliament to be far more vigilant and unrelenting in dealing with Members against whom there is prima facie proof of corrupt practices and for the Speaker to sanction persecution.

Other controversial provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill include transferring the CVC and the anti-corruption wing of the CBI to the Jan Lokpal; the Lokpal under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act becoming an authority, authorized to interfere and monitor messages, voice and data transmitted through telephone, internet or any other media without reference to existing legal procedures; having the authority to bind the Finance Minister to its budgetary demands; issuing directions in public interest during the course of an investigation for taking action as recommended by the Jan Lokpal; impose on business entities who may be beneficiaries of corrupt acts, fine up to 5 times the loss caused to the public and having it recovered from the assets of the business entity as well as personal assets of its Managing Director and others. (PIB Features)

Union Cabinet Minister and a Member of the Joint Drafting Committee of the Lokpal Bill.

PRA/VN
SS-95/SF-95/30.06.2011
(Release ID :72941)

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