At war against corruption: Social activist Anna Hazare, flanked by Swami Agnivesh (left) and Dr. Kiran Bedi, demanding a strong anti-corruption law at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday.
- NEW DELHI: Demanding enactment of a strong anti-corruption law on the lines of Jan Lokpal Bill, social crusader Anna Hazare on Saturday threatened to go on an indefinite fast unto death at Jantar Mantar here from April 5 if the Prime Minister does not act decisively on his suggestion by March-end.
- “None from civil society consulted”
- Addressing a press conference here, Anna wondered how the government could pass the anti-corruption Bill without consulting anyone from the civil society. “There should be 50 per cent partnership between the government and the civil society. Corruption has increased manifold but there is no fear of either the law or the government. The law is so weak that it cannot fight corruption. Even if I have to give my life to see that the Bill is passed, I will not hesitate.”
- The Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal has been refined on the basis of feedback received from the public. “An institution called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in each State will be set up. Like the Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be independent of the governments. Investigation in any case will have to be completed in a year. Trial will be completed in the next one year so that a corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years,” said Anna.
- Bill stands for transparency
- Noting that the Jan Lokpal Bill stands for transparency and has been put on the website to receive suggestions from the public, social activist Swami Agnivesh said many people including Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and others had signed on a letter drafted to the Prime Minister on December 1 requesting that the law be enacted.
- Signatories to the letter are part of the movement “India Against Corruption” that organised rallies demanding enactment of Jan Lokpal Bill on January 30 in 62 cities.
- Former police officer Kiran Bedi said IAC had met leaders from all political parties. “A majority of politicians have given us a positive response. What we require is a tough law that can fight corruption.”
- Mr. Kejriwal said a strong anti-corruption mechanism needs to be put in place so that the large sums of money stashed away in Swiss bank accounts can be disbursed in the country. “The problem is not in implementing the law, but in not having a strong law to root out corruption from our system.”