New Delhi, Dec 1: As Parliamentary Standing Committee went back on some of its recommendations on Lokpal Bill, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi tonight slammed it as an effort to make the ombdusman an “Enquiry-pal” and said it confirms her remarks that politicians wear several masks.
Bedi, who also issued an open letter to IPS officers to support bringing CBI in the ambit of Lokpal, said Anna Hazare and his supporters did not fight for such an anti-corruption watchdog and they did not want another toothless body like CVC.
“The Standing Committee report on Lokpal Bill is very self-defeating. Lokpal is being made an ‘Enquiry Pal',” Bedi told PTI.
“How can Parliament go back on the unanimous resolution which it passed followed by Prime Minister's letter to Anna ji which included lower bureaucracy, citizen charter and the Lokayuktas. The resolution was backed by PM's letter confirming this.
“Going back on these will only confirm what I said during the mass agitation at Ramlila Ground that many politicians have several masks on which I was served a privilege notice by some Parliament members,” she said.
Her comments came against the backdrop of Parliamentary Committee deciding to exclude class ‘C' employees from Lokpal, an issue on which a consensus had arrived yesterday.
Contending that they have not agitated for “another CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) which does not have any power”, she said, “CBI is the chief chef for cooking (probes) and Lokpal the bearer (prosecution) serving what is there.”
“CBI is hamstrung. It needs to be set free. Its current occupants need help. Why is Government not letting go of CBI? Government is afraid of losing control of CBI,” she said.
She said the the ball is now “in the the court of the Opposition and ours too. Do we let this enslavement continue? Or strive to change? I pray Opposition unites to bring CBI's anti corruption wing under Lokpal.”
Referring to continuous disruption of Parliament, Bedi said if needed, the government should call a special session to pass the Lokpal Bill. Team Anna has been insisting that the Bill should be passed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
In an open letter to IPS officers, Bedi said, “IPS must stand up to set CBI free. There is still a window of opportunity. Its now or God knows when?” S
he said the Standing Committee report revealed that CBI will remain with the government and Lokpal will merely be a preliminary enquiry agency with all safeguards for the accused at various stages after which it will handover the matter to CBI to investigate the case.
“Friends, please understand this is an opportunity for CBI to be part of the Lokpal today if it wants to set itself free from political control and be an equal member of the Lokpal. As regards its investigation it will remain insulated in view of its expertise as well as the law.
“If CBI does not come with Lokpal, it could be harassed since Lokpal will be comprising of heavy weights. Choose to be an equal member and set yourself free! It's devil of political abuse on one hand and equal lokpal membership on the other, choice has to made now,” she said.
Another Team Anna member Manish Sisodia said they did not understand the logic behind exclusion of Prime Minister from the ambit of Lokpal.
“You want to say that nobody can speak about corruption by Prime Minister when he is in office. What is this demitting office clause? So if one Prime Minister returns to power, you cannot touch the Prime Minister,” he said.