New Delhi, Jul 21: Making a strong pitch forbringing the Prime Minister under the purview of the Lokpal, Left parties on Wednesday called for tackling corruption at the higher level.
The Left parties, as well as Civil Society members said there was urgent need to have a strong, effective and independent Lokpal in place soon.CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said the four Bills to constitute Lokpal during the previous four governments including that of NDA, United Front and VP Singh, in this regard had provisions for bringing the Prime Minister under the Lokpal.
“The four bills for Lokpal brought in 1989, 1996 and two under the NDA regime had the PM under its purview,” Karat said speaking a public meeting “against corruption and corporate loot”.
CPI general secretary A B Bardhan also stressed that the Prime Minister be brought within the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.“There could be some safeguards, though. The Supreme Court must examine whether there is a prima facie case, before initiating action against the prime minister. Infact, PM's and Presidents across the world have been investigated and duly punished, including that for corruption and other deeds.” Karat said this is the right time to bring in a legislation to tackle corruption. “With more and more people coming forward on the streets against corruption, saying they cannot tolerate it anymore, we must have a series of measures in place to tackle corruption.”
The CPM leader said: “To begin with we should have the Lokpal first and then have some judicial mechanism in place to check corruption in judiciary. We also need to have electoral reforms to check the use of big money in elections and take firm measures to curb black money and mop up all illegal money which is flowing into our political system.” Karat said there was a strong case to start with higher-level corruption in this neo-liberal regime. “We must strike at the source - the fountain-head of corruption, whether they are politicicians, executives or top bureaucrats, by bringing them under the purview of Lokpal.” He also called for bringing into effect the Lokayukta in states, as much of corruption is at the state level and should cover all public servants in different state governments.
Regarding the judiciary, he said, “higher judiciary also has corruption and it is practically impossible to tackle such corruption. There is a need for a separate mechanism for checking corruption in the judiciary,” while calling for the setting up of a judicial commission or a separate body in this regard.
Considering that the root cause of corruption today is the economic corruption and the role played by big business houses, Karat said, “There is a huge impact of neo-liberal regime on our political system, which directly impinges on our democracy and our democractic values. This is becomming a serious affair.”
“This neo-liberal sponsored corruption has now directly affected our political democracy. Today political parties are selecting candidates who can spend huge money,” said Karat. PTI