Team Hazare's ''mantri-to-santri'' idea faces practical problems

Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Jun 19: Will the proposed Lokpal be able to handle more than 100,000 complaints of corruption cases lodged mostly against lower level staff every year?

Members of the civil society in the Lokpal Bill drafting committee have made demands that could lead to the proposed anti-corruption watchdog dealing with a humongous amount of complaints but officials feel it can't handle such volumes.

"Every year, more than 100,000 complaints of corruption are registered across the country against government officials, mostly lower-level staff like clerks and peons. If the suggestion of ''mantri to santri'' is included in the Bill, it will be practically impossible for the Lokpal to handle each and every case," a highly-placed official, who did not want to be quoted, said.

These corruption cases mostly relate to foodgrains distributed under PDS, making of ration cards, issuance of driving licences, birth and death certificates, clearance of pension papers etc.

Though there are various authorities to deal with such cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, civil society members have been insisting that all corruption cases should be handled by the Lokpal, dismissing the suggestion of the government that only corruption cases against joint secretary and above level officers should be given to Lokpal.

Independence of judiciary is protected by the Constitution but if the judiciary is brought under Lokpal, as demanded by the Anna Hazare team, it would affect the functioning of the higher judiciary for which Constitution has to be amended, the official feels. 


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