New Delhi, Nov 21: Accusing the government of reducing the proposed Lokpal to an “empty tin box with no powers”, Team Anna today said they were surprised at the move to exclude Citizen's Charter and lower bureaucracy from the ambit of the ombudsman, contrary to a Parliament resolution.
“The government proposes to remove CBI, judiciary, citizen charter, whistle blower protection, Group C and Group D employees and CBI from Lokpal jurisdiction. Wouldn't that reduce Lokpal to an empty tin box with no powers and functions?” a Team Anna statement said.
The statement said Hazare suspended his fast in August on the basis of a resolution passed by Parliament which was termed as ‘Sense of House' by some people but was referred to as a ‘resolution' by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his letter to the Gandhian.
“This resolution clearly stated that three issues would be addressed through the Lokpal Bill namely Lokayuktas in states would be created through the same bill and lower bureaucracy and citizens charter would be included in the lokpal bill.
“However we are surprised that contrary to that resolution, the government proposes to exclude citizen charter and lower bureaucracy from Lokpal's jurisdiction and bring a weak and ineffective bill to deal with citizens grievances,” it said noting that the reports filtering out of Standing Committee discussions were a cause of concern.
Demanding inclusion of Group C and D employees under the ambit of Lokpal, Team Anna said they strongly oppose the move to exclude the lower bureaucracy.
“Would this mean that they could indulge in corruption and they would not be investigated by any agency? Aren't we giving them a license to indulge in corruption? A common man has to deal with Group C and Group D employees on a daily basis. Lakhs of people who participated in this anti-corruption movement wanted a solution to this day to day corruption,” they said.
On the issue of keeping CBI out of Lokpal's control, Team Anna said the Standing Committee proposal on the agency would reduce Lokpal to merely a post office—receive complaints, forward it to CBI, receive CBI's report and present it before the court.
They also demanded that criminal investigation of judges, which has been left out of Judicial Accountability Bill, should now be included in the Lokpal Bill.