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Will the recently passed Lok Pal Bill end Corruption in India?

'Lok' means people, particularly we the people of India and 'pal' means caretaker of the people. Lokpall Bill is also known as Citizens Ombudsman Bill. It is now a law to curb increasing corruption in India. Let us glance through some of the features of Lokpal Bill:

  1. The law will appoint Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta at state level.
  2. Lokpal office will consists of one chairperson and 10 members to be appointed by selection committee.
  3. Politicians and bureaucrats will not be involved.
  4. Time bound investigation and trial will be initiated
  5. Central Vigilance Commission and anti corruption wing of Central Bureau of Investigation will be merged with Lokpal.
  6. Protection to Whistle Blower will be given.
  7. Recovery of loss from assets of accused officer.
  8. Inclusion of Prime Minister and Judiciary under its purview.
  9. Enormous powers to Lokpal as enjoyed by Police and Courts
  10. Under Lokpal bill every govt. department has to prepare citizen charter which will state 'who does what in how much time'. People can hold of the officer, if he is not completing job as per Citizen's Charter and this can be considered as corruption under Lokpal Bill.

Now days, each and every government office ask for bribe to get work done as if it is part of their incentive from the government. With the Lok pal provision, it is certain that now onwards every official will fear of dire consequences of being caught in corruption charges. The onus lies on the people who have to stand up and raise their voice against such persons and resist giving bribe to get their work done.

According to the survey conducted by STAR NEWS, 87% of 8900 respondents of the survey supported Lokpal Bill which shows that the general public has knowledge about Lokpal Bill. It means at least now people are ready to change the system in hope to have some relief from this environment of corruption.

We can imagine how many complaints will Lokpal and Lokayukta office will receive every day on the issue of corruption. We can also imagine an upright person can be a lokpal but it is hard to believe that the entire office of Lokpal and Lokayukta will also be upright.

With such a great power in their hands the lokpal and lokaykta office can even be corrupt. Daily pilling up of complaints and time bound redressal pressure will certainly be reflected on the staff. It may lead to backlog and eventually some staff may end up seeking money to pass the files.

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The question 'will the recently passed Lok Pal Bill end Corruption in India' is difficult to answer. It will be interesting to see whether Lokpal Bill will survive and do justice to the expectation of the people or it may remain a law on piece of paper.

Manish Bhojwani