Thursday, August 04, 2011, Ramzan almubarak 03, 1432 A.H  
   HOME
   News in English
   News in Urdu
   Program Profiles
   GEO TV
   GEO UK
   GEO USA
   GEO ME
   GEO CANADA
   GEO EUROPE
   GEO JAPAN
   GEO SUPER
   AAG TV
   Booking Status
   Corporate Profile
   Geo Tariff
   News Archive
   Contact Us
   FAQ
   FAQ Distribution
   Feedback
   GEO SKINS
   GEO RINGTONES
   GEO NewsAlert
   GEO Wallpapers
   Transcripts of Program
   Team GEO
   Exam Results
 
 
 GEO World

 India introduces new anti-corruption bill

 Updated at: 1850 PST,  Thursday, August 04, 2011
 NEW DELHI: The Indian government on Thursday introduced a new anti-corruption bill in parliament, which activists have panned for exempting the prime minister from the scrutiny of a powerful new ombudsman.

The much-hyped "Lokpal Bill" would allow citizens to approach a newly-created watchdog with complaints about officials, including federal ministers and senior bureaucrats who are shielded under India's current laws.

The ombudsman will be picked from the highest levels of the judiciary and supported by 10 other officials who would be from the judiciary or people of "impeccable integrity".

The final version of the bill has been strongly criticised by civil society activists, who were allowed to participate in the drafting process but complained that their views were marginalised.

In particular, they attacked the decision to remove sitting prime ministers and the higher judiciary from the ombudsman's purview.

The conduct of MPs inside parliament is also exempt.

As soon as the the bill was introduced, the leader of the opposition in parliament, Sushma Swaraj, denounced the exclusions.

"Our categoric position is that the prime minister should also be within the ambit" of the ombudsman, Swaraj said.

India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters Thursday that any prime minister could be investigated after he left office.

"The prime minister has not been given immunity," he said. "The moment the prime minister demits office the complaint can be enquired into, proceedings can be taken up."

India has a dismal record of bringing corrupt senior public officials to justice.

In six decades only one senior politician, Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh, has been convicted of graft and served a jail term -- for taking a bribe in 1949.

Current laws require the government's approval before any sitting bureaucrat or minister can be prosecuted.

Civil society efforts to strengthen the bill were spearheaded by a veteran Indian activist, Anna Hazare, who won concessions from the government in April with a 98-hour hunger strike that gained widespread national support.

Arguing that the final draft revealed the government's "empty promises", Hazare, 78, urged all MPs to reject the legislation.

As the bill was being introduced in parliament, he symbolically burned a copy in the western city of Pune and said he would start a new fast on August 16.

"By introducing this weak bill the government has clearly shown that they have no intention to fight corruption," he said.

Hunger strikes, a traditional Indian protest, have become a focus of resentment over the corruption that plagues all levels of life in India, from massive government contracts to small daily bribes. (AFP)
 
ShareThisBack     |    Send this story to friend
» GEO Pakistan
Palejo threats strike over MQM statements
Zardari, Altaf conspiring to divide Sindh: Magsi
All Mohajirs are not Urdu speaking: Shahi Syed
Peshawar, Islamabad receive second rain spell
Mullah Omer, Zawahiri not in Balochistan: Raisani
   
» GEO World
India introduces new anti-corruption bill
India’s anti-corruption bill introduced in Parliament
Sonia Gandhi has surgery in US
Plants worldwide at risk of cyber attacks: researcher
Obama seeks to revive base after debt debacle
   
» GEO Business
Asian shares rise, Tokyo up on yen intervention
Crude up in Asia on bargain hunting
Gold hits record on global growth worries, Europe debt
Rs85b pumped in to ease banks’ liquidity
Cotton prices increase in local markets
   
» GEO Sports
Bangladesh win toss, opt to field against Zimbabwe
Junior hockey team left for Egypt
Asiam-Bopanna to open Legg Mason campaign
Aus denies Pak wrestling team visas
New manager to be appointed for Zimbabwe series
   
» Geo Entertainment
Shahrukh and Salman to face off at box office
SRK to perform in Dubai during Eid event
Harry Potter finale crosses $1 billion mark
Red carpet premiere of 'Sky Kids 4' held in LA
Legend Ghulam Ali performs in Ivring Texas
   
» GEO Health
Plastic heart helps escape death
Lab-on-a-chip: a game-changer in disease detection
New antibody propels hunt for universal flu vaccine
Fat is more dangerous for South Asians: study
10m drug users have hepatitis C: study
   
» GEO Amazing and Interesting
Transparent ‘Ghost Car’ sold at auction
Apple richer then US government: report
Indian breaks 250 coconuts in 8.56 minutes
South Korean scientists create glowing dog
US town for sale
   
 
Copyright © GEO TV. All rights reserved.