Aruna Roy for dual Lokpal system

Roy, along with her colleagues Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh, presented her views on the Lokpal Bill during their talk on ‘Inclusiveness, plurality and equal opportunity challenges for India’s imperfect democracy’, in Bangalore on Saturday. She said there should be at least two institutions on the lines of the Lokpal to check corruption.

Roy said ‘grievances’ and ‘corruption’ can’t be treated together, and they should be looked at separately. She said there should be a Lokpal to look at top-level corruption and another Lokpal for addressing grievances.

“Grievances should be dealt with through the ‘bottom up’ approach. We feel a district ombudsman has to be put in place, who can address the grassroots levels of corruption. High level corruption is virtual and with the mechanisms changing, thanks to the involvement of the corporate industry in policy frameworks, a separate Lokpal should be constituted to look into this,” she said.

Dey said though MKSS agreed with the Anna team that there should be a strong Lokpal, he thought the approach adopted by the ‘civil society team’ could have drastic impacts.

“The national Lokpal should not be given so much power that it eats up the entire bureaucratic system. The Lokpal Bill needs a long process of debate,” he added.

He said a referendum on an important legislation like the Lokpal was not advisable.
Roy said MKSS had written to the joint committee to draft Lokpal Bill, asking for consultations and terms of references. She also said the selection of a Lokpal was a grey area.

“We have suggested there should be a search committee which will cull out names after having scrutinised individuals.”

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