Vigil Human Rights Diary - July 2011

Lokpal bill and the Prime Minister

The Indian citizenry is up in arms against corruption at the highest levels of government.  Anna Hazare’s movement has caught the people’s imagination.  The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has pitched in and called upon the youth to start a mass movement against corruption under the banner “What can I give?”  (The Hindu, June 27, 2011)

According to a CRISIL report (The Hindu, June 29, 2011), inflation has caused the Indian public to be squeezed to the extent of Rs.2.3 lakh crores.  According to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the estimate of loss to the exchequer owing to the 2G spectrum scam is Rs.1.22 lakh crores.  That corruption is a disease consuming the body politic is a fear expressed by dignitaries in India over many years.  As far back as 1979, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer observed in a judgment in his inimitable style: “Fearless investigation is a ‘sine qua non’ of exposure of delinquent ‘greats’ and if the investigative agencies tremble to probe or make public the felonies of high office, white-collar offenders in the peaks may be unruffled by the law.  An independent investigative agency to be set in motion by any responsible citizen is a desideratum’.

Mark the words: fearless investigation by an independent investigative agency against delinquent ‘greats’.  A good Lokpal bill has to be nothing less.

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