Ralegan erupts in celebration after Lok Sabha clears Lokpal

Published: Dec 19, 2013, 08:10 IST | A Correspondent |

After Parliament passed the Lokpal bill amid a sloganeering crowd, saying Bharat Mata Ki Jai, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, flanked by his supporters former IPS officer Kiran Bediand former Army Chief VK Singh ended his fast after accepting coconut water from schoolchildren of his village Ralegan Siddhi on Wednesday afternoon

Taking a dig at supporters and other political leaders who were constantly facing camera while participating on several discussions on Lokpal, Hazare said that he could work for the nation even by choosing to remain out of the media glare.

Hazare added the Lokpal bill is a strong move to curb corruption. For the last two years, the public was fighting for a Lokpal and in the last one year, the bill has been pending in the Rajya Sabha without any discussion. While thanking the Congress and the BJP for their aggressive stand on Lokpal to get it passed in both houses of Parliament, Hazare said he would constitute a committee consisting of retired judges and police officers right at the state level to ensure effective implementation of the act.

He further said that the expenditure of this agitation would be uploaded on Internet and that he had not accepted a single dime from entrepreneurs and foreign nations. “Villagers here arranged refreshments for our supporters by arranging contributors,” he said.

He remembered former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and said that he had intervened and asked him to end the fast at Ramlila Maidan. Villagers gathered at Yadav Baba temple in large numbers and voluntarily distributed sweet and jaggery after the bill was passed. Hazare waved the tricolor before thousands of supporters to patriotic songs.

Features of the Lokpal Bill
>> Penalty: False and frivolous complaints -- imprisonment up to one year and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh. Public servants -- imprisonment up to seven years. Criminal misconduct and habitually abetting corruption -- jail term up to 10 years.
>> Jurisdiction: The Prime Minister, ministers, including current and former legislators, government employees and employees working under organisations funded by the Central Government will be under the purview of the Bill. The societies and the trusts, which collect public money or receive funds from foreign funds or have an income above a certain level. Bodies creating funds for or organising religious and charitable functions have been excluded
>> Investigation: Inquiry has to be completed within 60 days and investigation to be completed within six months. Lokpal shall order an investigation only after hearing the public servant.
>> CBI: Lokpal has the right to supervise the CBI related to the case referred by it to the Central agency. The CBI officers investigating the cases referred by Lokpal can be transferred without its nod

— Inputs by Satish Dhumal 

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