Swami Agnivesh while projecting Nilesh as the new face of Goa representing people fighting to protect their land, said that a price will have to be paid for standing up for what is right. He was speaking at a programme organized by India Against Corruption at Ravinda Bhawan on Friday morning.
While stating that after God, corruption is universal, he appealed to the youth to realize their power and come forward with a dream and pointed out how Anna Hazare’s movement spurred the entire nation to take a stand against corruption.
All the speakers demanded stringent action against those who attacked Nilesh Gaonkar, Caurem Adivasi Bachao Samiti’s President and closure of all illegal mines.
Arvind Kejriwal in his well accepted address pointed out the number of time politicians avoided enacting the Lokpal bill in the Parliament. The tremendous response to Anna Hazare’s fast to get the bill implemented is an indication of the ‘golden era” for a change, he said.
He explained the salient features of the Lokpal Bill which envisages setting up a Lokpal at the national level and Lokayukta at State level. This authority will be totally independent from the government and will take up any complaint from any citizen which will be attended to within a year and the trial be completed within two years of lodging the complaint.
He also pointed out that the Lokpal bill provides for seizing the illegal assets accumulated by the offending person which is not provided for in the Prevention of Corruption Act. Hence the loss caused by the corrupt person will be recovered from him or her.
While even the Prime Minister will be brought under the purview of the Lokpal, even the judiciary will be answerable to it and a seven member bench of the Lokpal at an open hearing will decide upon complaints against judges rather than referring them to the Chief Justice of India.
In order to enable the authority to function in the true letter and spirit of its formation, anti-corruption agencies like Vigilance Committee, Anti-Corruption branch, etc. will be amalgamated and brought under the supervision of the Lokpal or Lokayukta.
It is proposed that every person seeking a public office should declare his or her assets and continue to do so every year while in office. If anything is found amiss in the wealth gathered, proceedings will be initiated against the concerned person.
In order to be truly transparent, no complaint to the Lokpal will be closed without giving the complainant a hearing and if closed all relevant documents will be posted on the net for the perusal of anybody interested.
While admitting that the Jan Lokpal bill is revolutionary, Kejriwal also admitted that the government will not readily accept to its enactment and therefore appealed to people in general and Goans in particular to join in large numbers to build up the pressure on the authorities to bring about accountability in the administration.