The State Government has so far not even received any letter from the Centre soliciting State’s views on some of the provisions of the proposed Janlokpal Bill, revealed a top official of the State Government on strict condition of anonymity. The official emphatically stated that the Government has not received any of such communication.
This was revealed to India Against Corruption (IAC) on Saturday on the sidelines of a on-going seminar on ‘Human Development and Media’ at the International Centre Goa.
The IAC, Goa pointed out that the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the chairman of the Joint Draft Committee on 31st May had written a letter to chief ministers and leaders of political parties and representatives in Parliament to give their views on six issues which included the demand of civil society members that one single Act should provide for both the Lokpal in the Centre and Lokayukta in the State and whether their governments would be willing to accept a draft provision for the Lokayukta on the same lines as that of the Lokpal.
Answer has also been sought on whether the Prime Minister should also be brought under the purview of the Lokpal and if so, should there be a qualified inclusion and should judges of Supreme Court and High Courts also be covered by the proposed law. Chief Ministers and political parties have also been asked to give their opinion on whether the conduct of MPs inside Parliament — speaking or voting in the House — be brought under the purview of Lokpal as they are protected under the Constitution.
The other question that has been asked is whether government servants in states or Centre be subject to enquiry and disciplinary action including dismissal by Lokpal and Lokayukta. What should be the definition of Lokpal and should it exercise quasi-judicial powers or delegate them to subordinate officials was yet another question asked, according to a statement made while talking to media by Mr. Kapil Sibal, one of the members of the Committee on 31st May. He had further stated that the replies have been sought by 6th June.
It was further pointed out to Goa Government official that Chief Ministers like Ms. Mayavati of UP were already reported to have written back to the Centre declining to reply stating that the letter including the questionnaire was confusing.
The IAC, Goa has wondered if delaying tactics are being resorted to, more so because, the deadline for the replies was 6th June, according to a press release issued here by Advocate Satish Sonak on behalf of IAC on Sunday.