'Government wants to act like big brother'

Arvind Kejriwal rejected the Lokpal bill, which was tabled in the Parliament yesterday, saying it is very dangerous and will make the ombudsman a puppet in the hands of the government

The much-awaited Lokpal bill, which was finally tabled in the Parliament yesterday, was straightaway rejected by Team Anna.

"The government's Lokpal bill is very dangerous, as it will make the ombudsman a puppet in the hands of the government," said Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal.

"Through this bill, the government wants to act like Big Brother. While 90 per cent of the politicians are out of the ambit of the Lokpal, temples, churches, schools and other public institutions are under the ambit of this dangerous Lokpal," he said, adding that the government considers all citizens to be corrupt but its employees and politicians clean.

Rejecting the bill, Kejriwal demanded that the entire bill be taken back and redrafted in the right manner. "Those who drafted the bill seem to be either incompetent in law or want to promote the corrupt through the Lokpal bill," he said.

Criticising some of the provisions in the bill, Kejriwal said that for the first time after independence, the government has shown sensitivity towards the corrupt and has decided to provide free legal aid to them.

Kejriwal also expressed fear over the CBI being rendered ineffective if the government's Lokpal bill was passed in parliament. Another key Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said that CBI is also very upset with the bill. "As per Section 173 of CrPC, once the investigation is complete and a chargesheet is filed, there is no one between the investigating officer and the court," she said while stressing that the battle for Lokpal is now also a "Save the CBI Campaign".

Kejriwal also said that Anna Hazare, marking protest against the bill, would go on a fast for three days in Mumbai.dd
-- With inputs from Agencies

Absolute authority denied?
The Lokpal has not been given absolute authority when it comes to the CBI. The bill proposes that the CBI director will be selected by a three-member committee comprising of the PM, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge nominated by him.
However, the Lokpal will have provision to oversee the CBI in corruption cases that they have referred to the investigation agency.
Also, the new legislation puts  the PM under the Lokpal purview, but only with certain safeguards that exclude issues relating to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space. --- Surender Sharma

Abhishek Singhvi, Congress spokesperson
The Congress-led UPA Government kept its promise and that too with sheer sincerity and commitment.

Lalu Prasad Yadav, RJD chief
Four people (Team Anna) are dictating the Parliament. We are the law making body. Let them fast, agitate �

Mayawati, BSP chief
If the CBI is not included in the Lokpal bill, we will not support it. From the media reports, it appears that the government has not paid heed to the suggestions put forward for a strong and effective Lokpal bill.

Sushma Swaraj, BJP leader
We will move an amendment motion against the provision for reservation to minorities. This is against the Constitution, which does not provide for reservation on basis of religion.

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