‘Anna’s present agitation highly unjustified’
Justice PB Sawant, who headed the inquiry commission that probed allegations of corruption in some of the trusts run by Anna Hazare, on Monday, said the social activist’s present agitation for a stronger lokpal bill was “highly unjustified”. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi reports.delhi Updated: Aug 15, 2011 22:49 IST
Justice PB Sawant, who headed the inquiry commission that probed allegations of corruption in some of the trusts run by Anna Hazare, on Monday, said the social activist’s present agitation for a stronger lokpal bill was “highly unjustified”.
“This entire hullabaloo over the inclusion of Prime Minister in the ambit of lokpal is not required….. Why are people making such a hue and cry over this… Hazare’s present agitation over it is highly unjustified,” Justice Sawant said in an interview over phone from Pune.
“The incumbent Prime Minister will always know that he will be held accountable and responsible for his actions after demitting office….This will act as a strong deterrent…He will always be cautious in his actions when in office,” he said.
Justice Sawant had initially advocated for the inclusion of the PM’s post but reconciled after the government in its lokpal bill draft recommended that the Prime Minister would come under its ambit once he demits office. “Fair enough….What is wrong in it?” he said.
The government had introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha on August 4. It was later referred to the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice, personnel and public grievances, which is now examining the legislation.
On higher judiciary, Justice Sawant said it cannot be included in the purview of the lokpal because the constitution does not allow that. “The independence of judiciary is the backbone of our democracy.”
Asked if the lokpal would help eradicate corruption from the country, Justice Sawant said, “Has any law ever curbed any social evils? It all depends on how these laws are implemented. What is needed is to root out the causes of corruption.”
Justice Sawant said the Maharashtra government had instituted a panel under him in September 1, 2003 to probe allegations of corruption against 10 institutions linked to Hazare.
“Later allegations against 6 institutions were withdrawn by Suresh Jain (then state minister) and the panel probed remaining four for more than a year.”