GUWAHATI, Jan 5 � Leading peasant organization Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has prepared draft of a Bill to prevent corruption in the administration. The Bill has been named - 'Assam Anti-Corruption, Grievance Redressal and Whistleblower Protection Bill, 2011.' The draft of the Bill has been released to the media here today by KMSS secretary Akhil Gogoi.
The draft has been prepared by RTI activist Arvind Kezriwal, former IPS Kiran Bedi and Supreme Court lawyer Prasant Bhusan. It is expected to prevent corruption in an effective manner. The copies of the Bill are being furnished to all the political parties with the hope that they will place it before the State Assembly in its next session.
The Bill has provided for setting up an institution by the name of Lokayukta, consisting of one chairperson and ten members, among others.
"The chairperson and members of the Lokayukta shall not be serving or former members of either the Parliament or the Legislature of any State and shall not hold any office or trust of profit (other than the office as Chairperson or member) or would have ever been connected with any political party or carry on any business or practice any profession�," says the KMSS draft Bill.
It has also debarred those chargesheeted for any offence under the IPC or PC Act or penalized under the CCS Conduct Rules from being appointed as Chairperson or member of the Lokayukta.
The Chairperson or a member of the Lokayukta shall hold office for a term of five years 'from the date of which he enters upon his office' and none of them should hold office after attaining 65 years of age, the draft Bill says. At least four members of the Lokayukta shall have legal background.
The Bill has also provided for appointment of a selection committee, comprising two senior most judges of High Court, two previous Chief Justices of High Court, among others, to suggest names of the eligible persons to be appointed Chairperson and members of the Lokayukta, to the Governor.
Moreover, it has provided for public feedback on the short-listed persons for the above posts by making the list available to the people on the website, for discussions by the selection committee with the short-listed persons and for making the videograph of such discussions available to the people.
The Lokayukta shall have the power, among others, to initiate suo motu actions if any matter related to willful failure or omission by a public servant, misconduct or corruption by a Government servant etc. comes to its knowledge.
The Lokayukta shall have the power to issue search warrant, etc. and it shall also have the power of a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in matters of summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath.
This power of the Lokayukta shall also be there in calling for production of any document, receiving evidence on affidavits, requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office, among others.
The Chairperson and members of the Lokayukta shall also be deemed to be police officers for the purpose of section 36 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Moreover, in order to get its orders complied with, the Lokayukta shall have and exercise 'the same jurisdiction powers and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court has and may exercise...'
Besides, the draft Bill has provided for merger of the State Vigilance Department with the Lokayukta.
The Bill has also provided for recovery of loss incurred by the Government due to the misdeeds of a person convicted of an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Lokayukta shall also have the power to direct the appropriate authorities to take steps for protection of the whistleblowers. However, the Bill has provided penalty for false complaint.