Bhushan tears into Kejriwal over Jan Lokpal
Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Saturday accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of playing the 'biggest fraud' on people by diluting the provisions of the Jan Lokpal draft of the Anna movement.
Mr. Bhushan read out certain provisions of the draft Bill that is yet to be made public by the Delhi government. He claimed that Ministers and officials of the Centre were put under the ambit of the proposed legislation ?deliberately? to provoke confrontation.
?No activist or movement in India?s history has played such a big fraud with people. This will only ensure that the Central government does not approve and the Bill never gets passed. Kejriwal never had the intention to form a strong Lokpal body,? the former AAP leader said.
Dissident AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar, who was also present at the presser at Mr. Bhushan?s Noida residence, claimed that he had managed to get hold of its copy in his capacity as a member of the Business Advisory Committee.
Mr. Bhushan questioned the appointment and removal processes of the Lokpal laid out in the Bill, which was recently cleared by the AAP Cabinet, saying they would put the Ombudsman at the mercy of the city government.
The Bill purportedly says that a four-member selection committee, comprising the Chief Minister, Speaker, Leader of Opposition and Delhi High Court Chief Justice would appoint the Lokpal, while the removal can be ensured by a motion in the Assembly with two-thirds majority.
?Even the Centre?s Lokpal Act, which has been termed as ?jokepal? by Kejriwal, is stronger than this Bill. This is a ?mahajokepal? Kejriwal must resign from office,? said former Union Minister, lawyer and anti-corruption activist Santhi Bhushan.
They said by expanding the jurisdiction of the Lokpal, by proposing to bring Centre under its ambit was uncalled for and aimed at stoking another fight. ?In all the draft Lokpals that we have prepared till date, state Lokayuktas are not supposed to have any such powers.?
The father-son duo also slammed the alleged provision which stipulates one-year imprisonment for false complaints, which they said will only deter complainants. ?So the falsity is to be decided by a sarkari lokpal?? they asked.
?We can now understand why this draft was kept under the wraps. The plan was to pass this ?mahajokepal? Bill and then play victim by claiming that the Centre is obstructing it. Will say nahi karne diya ji [didn?t allow us to pass it],? Mr. Bhushan said.