In resumed dialogue between the government and Team Anna, the National Campaign for People’s Right To Information (NCPRI)’s mechanism to fight corruption has helped in breaking the ice.
The government on Tuesday took some clues from the NCPRI draft to strike a compromise with Team Anna on the contentious issues of including Prime Minister in the ambit of the Lokpal Bill and excluding judiciary.The government ministers wanted that the Lokpal should initiate investigations against the PM only after a reference is made by a full bench of the Supreme Court, as suggested by NCPRI, government sources said.
The Jan Lokpal had a different take saying the investigation against the PM could start only after all 11 members of the Lokpal agree.
“The modalities can be worked out as the government has agreed to include the PM,” a Team Anna member said.
Another agreement between the government and Team Anna also came from NCPRI mechanism, which said that higher judiciary should be covered in the proposed judicial accountability law. “We want the judicial accountability law should be redrafted and strengthened,” team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said, which is also a view-point of NCPRI.
Having a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the state levels with similar powers as suggested both by Team Anna and NCPRI is an issue on which the Central government agrees but says it not in their domain area. “Constituting state Lokayuktas is jurisdiction of the state legislatives,” a government functionary said, terming it a reason for non-committal approach of the government on the issue.
“Certain areas we and team Anna had 90 % agreement. Now, the government has also agreed on those areas,” a NCPRI member said.
On two contentious other issues with the government --- include all employees and citizen charters to make officials accountable under Lokpal --- are where Team Anna and NCPRI differ.
The NCPRI believes that Lokpal should look at corruption at higher levels and there should be a separate mechanism to deal with corruption and public grievance at the middle and lower levels of bureaucracy. It wants public grievances to be dealt by Public Grievance Lokpal and middle level bureaucracy by Central Vigilance Commission and State Vigilance Commissions.
Team Anna wants the Lokpal to deal from peon to Prime Minister saying one authority can deal with corruption in a much better way than multiple authorities.
“Jan Lokpal approach on covering all public servants will make Lokpal unwieldy,” NAC member Aruna Roy said. Roy on Wednesday with other members of the NCPRI team had met Anna Hazare and inquired about his health. “There was no discussion on the ongoing debate,” Roy said.
Since the NCPRI released its anti-corruption mechanism, the campaign has been in touch with some members of Team Anna in a bid to find a common ground for the civil society to fight to strong ant-corruption mechanism.