New Delhi: Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has criticised the government for not bringing the CBI and CVC under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill. He said the government cheated on the public by not holding proper consultations. "I call it cheating because the government had issued a gazette and formed a committee which did not meet for even three months," Anna Hazare said.
He also warned of another protest at the Ramlila Maidan ahead of the announcement of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. "If need be I will still be at Ramlila Maidan once again when the general election dates are announced," Anna said. When asked about his aide Kiran Bedi's support for the new draft of the bill, Anna said, "May be she is not aware of the details of the bill."
The new draft of Lokpal Bill cleared by the Cabinet on Thursday saw mixed reactions with those who led demonstrations for a strong Lokpal speaking in different languages. While former IPS officer Kiran Bedi came out in support of the new draft, Aam Aadmi Party member Prashant Bhushan said the core of the legislation was still weak. AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal also continued to oppose the new draft.
Kiran Bedi on Friday said that most of the concerns were addressed in the new draft of the Lokpal Bill and that these were baby steps that offered scope for improvement. "The selection of the director of CBI is considerably corrected. Now it is a selection by a 3-member committee. It has a fixed tenure of 2 years. Any case of corruption referred to CBI will not be under the government or politicians and that is good," Kiran Bedi said.
She also tweeted, "If Select Committee Recommendations on Lokpal r cleared by Cabinet then its a beginning made Its an improvement over earlier Standing Comm (sic)."
However, Prashant Bhushan said the new draft was still weak. "There have been minor changes made in the draft. The core of the legislation is still weak. The ruling class and the opposition ensuring a weak bill," Bhushan said.
"There is still no accountability of public servants and the government has also ensured an ineffective CBI," Bhushan added. This came as the government rejected the recommendation which sought approval of Lokpal for transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal.
Kejriwal also raised objections saying, "It will not have the power to investigate. It will forward the complaints to CBI and CBI continues to remain under the government's control. If Lokpal finds that an officer in CBI is not doing the right job, would the Lokpal have the power to change that officer," he questioned.