New Delhi, Nov 29: Denouncing the anti-graft Jan Lokpal bill drafted by Arvind Kejriwal Government, expelled AAP leader Prashant Bhushan has termed it a watered-down version of the original legislation.
Bhushan, who was among the men to have drafted the older version termed it as a farce and fraud on the people.
Bhushan, one of the founding members of AAP, has alleged that the Kejriwal government has made changes in the anti-graft bill that was drafted during Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement.
'Deliberate' attempt to provoke confrontation between Centre and Delhi Govt:
Bhushan has alleged that by giving Jan Lokpal the power to probe cases of corruption against central government employees, the AAP government wanted to provoke confrontation.
Expanding the jurisdiction of the Lokpal, by proposing to bring Centre under its ambit is uncalled for and is aimed at stoking another fight.
"In all the draft Lokpals that we have prepared till date, state Lokayuktas are not supposed to have any such powers," said Bhushan.
"This clause will never be approved by the central government and the bill will never get passed, hence Kejriwal will play the victim card," said Bhushan.
Appointment and removal of Lokpal:
Noting that they had said that Lokpal could be removed only if the Supreme Court held him guilty after a complaint against him, Bhushan said this bill holds that he could be removed by a resolution passed by two-thirds of the assembly members. Hence, the Lokayukta will be under the ambit of the government thus he won't be able to work independently and fearlessly.
The present Bill purportedly says that a four-member selection committee, comprising the Chief Minister, Speaker, Leader of Opposition and Delhi High Court Chief Justice would appoint the Lokpal, while the removal can be ensured by a motion in the Assembly with two-thirds majority.
Given the strength of the AAP government in Delhi Assembly, two-third majority is not a tough task for the incumbent government.
State Govt to appoint members of Lokpal:
The new version says that appointment and removal of members will be done by the state government whereas the previous draft formed during Anna movement demanded that it should be done through an independent ombudsman.
No role of Lt Governor and the President:
According to the draft Jan Lokpal Bill, the power to remove the ombudsman has been given to the House that can pass the motion in the Assembly with two-thirds majority, ensuring that the office of the Jan Lokpal remains at the beck and call of its political masters. Thus, LG can't himself remove the Lokpal unless the government asks him to do so.
Kejriwal acting like Modi, alleges Prashant Bhushan:
Kejriwal does not like to be questioned like "Modi" so he has chosen not to make the contents of the Bill public.
"No activist or movement in India's history has played such a big fraud with people. This will only ensure that the Central government does not approve and the Bill never gets passed. Kejriwal never had the intention to form a strong Lokpal body," said the senior lawyer.