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India Against Corruption

A-119, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad 201010, UP. Ph: 09891148748, 09868219486

Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji, Prime Minister, Government of India, New Delhi.

Respected Dr, Manmohan Singh Ji, During the past one year people of the country had come onto the streets protesting against corruption. All demanded passage of Jan Lokpal Bill. But your government only betrayed the people at each step.

When I sat on fast on 5 April, the govt. formed a joint drafting committee. But the joint committee rejected all our main suggestions. When I was about to restart my agitation from 16 August for a strong and effective Lokpal Bill, I was arrested and put in jail with the same persons against whose corruptions I was fighting! After coming out of jail, during my indefinite fast at Ramleela ground, you wrote a letter on 27 August, confirming to me that the parliament had resolved to accept to bring Citizens Charter and Lower Bureaucracy under the jurisdiction of Lokpal. The whole country watched the proceedings at the Parliament. Your letter was also read from the stage and every one listened to it. Assured by your letter, I ended my fast.

However, the bill presented to the parliament did neither contain Citizens Charter nor cover Lower Bureaucracy. Such massive betrayal! Cheating the Parliament? If the Government commits such perfidy with the Parliament, what will be future of the country and democracy? Your Ministers have repeatedly been saying that they are answerable to the Parliament. It appears from this that the Parliament is in the grips of the Govt. No one has any control over the Govt. For five years the Govt. is free to do anything it likes.

It is being said on behalf of the Govt. that the wordings of the resolution of the Parliament explicitly did not mention that Citizens Charter and Lower Bureaucracy to be brought within the jurisdiction of Lokpal. Did the Govt. then betray the whole country by play of words? Was the intention of the Govt questionable from that day? The country was, however, told that the three suggestions of Anna had been accepted.

You again informed me by a letter dated 10 October that you are committed to a strong and effective bill. When the attention of the country was on the Parliament, the hallowed institution was again shamed. Because the Govt. was in majority in the Lok Sabha, none of the suggestions of the oppositions was accepted on 27 December. The Govt. was afraid that it would not be able to get its

bill passed in Rajya Sabha, so on 29 December even voting was not allowed to be conducted. Do you honestly accept that the bill presented, and even passed by the Lok Sabha misusing the majority, is really Strong and Effective?

1. Your Lokpal will not be able to even investigate any complaint. What is the usefulness of a Lokpal who cant even investigate on its own? Your bill says that corruptions in the Govt. can be investigated by a Govt. agency only. Isnt this a laughable matter? Govt to investigate its own corruptions! In the bill presented in August to the Parliament, Lokpal had its own investigating agency. Why have you now removed this provision? 2. Why are you afraid to free CBI from the control of the Govt.? Are some files with CBI becoming public making the Govt. fearful? Or misuse of CBI to continue to save Chidambaram and other corrupt leaders? Or misuse CBI to ensure support of Mulayam Sigh and Mayawati to somehow cobble together a majority to continue with the Govt.? 3. After Independence, this is the first law which stipulates the Govt. to provide Advocates to the corrupt free of charges. Your bill demonstrates your concern for the corrupt. 4. If you only showed similar concern for the ordinary citizen of the country (Aam Aadmi). Those raising their voice against corruption are subjected to various types of harassment. How many have been brutally killed? As if to save them, you are bringing another bill in which the protection of such persons will be the duty of CVC. Does CVC have its own police force? Does CVC have the police strength to provide protection from big and powerful mafia dons? Responsibility of protecting those raising voice against corruption was given to CVC by the Supreme Court in 2003. Has CVC in the past so many years given protection in even one case? Only last week one active participant from Baghpat in our movement, Manoj Arya, was grievously attacked with a sword. His sin was to expose corruption in the education and food departments through RTI. Should Manoj now go to CVC? What kind of protection will CVC give; can you please explain? 5. It is painful to note that rather than saving the person raising voice against corruption, your bill talks of sending him to jail. To fight against complainant, Govt. will provide free advocates. Is this your strong and effective Lokpal? 6. According to the Govt. bill, the selection of Lokpal will be in the hands of the Govt. Dismissal and suspension of the Lokpal will be in the hands of the Govt. Higher ranking officials working in the department of Lokpal will be according to the desires of the Govt. Then Lokpal, like CBI, wont be completely a puppet in the hands of the Govt.?

Is this a strong and effective Lokpal? The Govt. bill presented to the Parliament contains, who knows how many, these types of short comings. I have cited only a few examples above. With hand on your heart, do you honestly believe this to be really strong and effective Lokpal? Leave alone large scale corruption, it appears to me that your Lokpal will not be able to punish even those stealing 100 rupees or less.

You have attained 80 years of age. This country has given you everything. Now it is demanding something from you. Show some guts. On Nuclear deal you had staked the Govt., which was wrong. Show some strength on Lokpal bill to get rid of corruption. It is not known after this whether

Congress will give you another opportunity to become Prime Minister of the country, but the country will forever remember you. Rarely such occasions come in history - withdraw this weak and useless bill and bring a really strong and effective law.

27 August the Parliament had passed a resolution to bring Citizens Charter and Lower Bureaucracy within the Lokpals jurisdiction. Govt. did not accept Parliament resolution. The citizens came on the road in August and demanded Jan Lokpal. Govt. did not accede to even the peoples voice but when Rahul Gandhi ji talked of giving Constitutional status to Lokplal, the Govt. was quick to accept it.

Is this process of law making in our country correct? If democracy means rule by the people, for the people, of the people, then in this democratic country, dont you feel such important laws like Lokpal should be legislated with active participation of the people? These laws should be made after consulting the people. Bad laws should not be imposed on the people. This movement will go on till the country gets a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. We will travel to the five states where elections are being held and will educate the people on the issues. Till such time JanLokpal comes, this movement of the people will continue. Constitution mentions Gram Sabha as the assembly of all eligible voters in a village. There is no such mention for cities. Mohallas can be constituted on similar lines in cities. Dont you think that these types of important laws should be made only after due consultation with Gram Sabhas and Mohallas?

Maximum corruption today is in land acquisition. Productive land is snatched away from poor farmers at throw away prices and given to builders, property developers and companies. Black money is mostly invested in landed property. The Land Acquisition Act 1984 has become an effective tool to make the poor poorer and farmers unemployed. Do you agree that this act should be repealed? Do you agree that no land should be acquired without prior permission of the affected Gram Sabhas?

Yours (signature) K.B. Hazare (Anna)