Nudged into action: on the Lokpal Act

 

 

 

Nudged into action: on the Lokpal Act

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Lokpal
After long delays, a Supreme Court push is needed to establish the Lokpal
It should have never come to this on the Lokpal. That it requires(आवश्यकता) a Supreme Court order to nudge the government to make any progress towards(दिशा ) establishing(स्थापित करना) the anti-graft(भ्रष्टाचार विरोधी) institution is a poor commentary(समीक्षा/टीका-टिप्पणी) on its functioning. The court has asked the eight-member Search Committee under the Lokpal Act to recommend(सिफारिश) a panel of names before the end of February. This shortlist has to be sent to the Selection Committee, headed by the Prime Minister. It has taken five years since the Lokpal Act, 2013, received the President’s assent(सहमति) on January 1, 2014, for a Search Committee to even begin its work. It was formed only on September 27, 2018, after Common Cause(सामान्य कारण,), an NGO, filed a contempt(निन्दनीय/मानहानि) petition(याचिका) against(खिलाफ ) the government over the delay in constituting(गठन/निर्मित ) the authority despite a Supreme Court verdict(निर्णय/विचार) in April 2017. It is true that setting up the Search Committee requires some groundwork, as its composition(रचना/संयोजन) should be drawn from diverse(विभिन्न/अनेक) fields such as anti-corruption policy, public administration, law, banking and insurance; also, half its membership should consist(मिलकर /बना होना) of women, backward class, minority and SC/ST candidates. However, it is the government’s duty to expedite(शीघ्र/जल्द) this process and not cite(हवालादेना/तलब करना) it as a reason for delay. Even after it was formed, the Search Committee has been handicapped(अक्षम/अपंग) because of lack(कमी) of office space, manpower, infrastructure(आधारिक संरचना) and a secretariat(सचिवालय). The court has now asked the government to provide the required infrastructure. In the past too, the court has admonished(चेताया/संबोधित ) the Centre for the delay in creating the institution. In its April 2017 verdict, the court brushed(अलग कर) aside the reason that the government was awaiting the passage of an amendment(सुधार/संशोधन) based(आधारित ) on a parliamentary committee report and said there was no legal bar on the Selection Committee moving ahead with its work even if there was a vacancy in it.

There is a good deal of politics behind the delay. The Selection Committee, which includes(शामिल) the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India and an eminent(प्रख्यात/श्रेष्ठ) jurist, has met in the past without Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the Congress in the Lok Sabha. He has been skipping meetings, as he is aggrieved(पीड़ित/असंतुष्ट) that the government has not made him a full member, and has roped(अनुबंधित) him in as a ‘special invitee’. The government sticks to its view that he has not been recognised(स्वीकृत/मान्यता-प्राप्त) as the Leader of the Opposition by the Speaker. This minor issue(मामूली सी बात) has been resolved(हल किया) in respect of appointments to other posts such as CBI Director and Central Vigilance Commissioner by a simple amendment to treat(इलाज) the leader of the largest Opposition party as the Leader of the Opposition for this purpose. This amendment has not been brought about despite(बावजूद) a parliamentary committee report endorsing(पुष्टि/समर्थन) the idea in December 2015. Nothing except the lack of political will to establish the Lokpal can explain years of delay.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1.Towards(दिशा )
Synonyms: against, almost, approaching, close to, coming up

2. Cite(हवालादेना/तलब करना)
Synonyms: allege, allude to, indicate, mention, name
Antonyms: conceal, deny, take, withhold, forget

3. Amendment(सुधार/संशोधन)
Synonyms: change, modification, reform, remedy, revision
Antonyms: damage, harm, hurt, injury, worsening

4. Brushed(अलग कर)
Synonyms: caress, flick, kiss, scrape, shave

5. Admonished(चेताया/संबोधित )
Synonyms: advise, berate, censure, chide, enjoin
Antonyms: allow, compliment, flatter, laud, permit

6. Recommend(सिफारिश)
Synonyms: advocate, back, confirm, endorse, favor
Antonyms: censure, condemn, deny, discourage, dissuade

7. Verdict(निर्णय/विचार)
Synonyms: answer, award, conclusion, decision, decree
Antonyms: accusation

8. Composition(रचना/संयोजन)
Synonyms: architecture, balance, beauty, configuration, content
Antonyms: disproportion, imbalance, disagreement, discord, unevenness

9. Eminent(प्रख्यात/श्रेष्ठ)
Synonyms: big-name, distinguished, esteemed, famed, high-ranking
Antonyms: common, inconspicuous, inferior, insignificant, obscure

10. Aggrieved(पीड़ित/असंतुष्ट)
Synonyms: disturbed, grieving, oppressed, persecuted, wronged
Antonyms: comforted, happy, pleased

11. Endorsing(पुष्टि/समर्थन)
Synonyms: advocate, affirm, approve, back, commend
Antonyms: attack, censure, criticize, deny, disagree

12.Roped(अनुबंधित)
Synonyms: allure, bag, bait, beckon, beguile
Antonyms: deter, discourage, disenchant, disgust, dissuade

13. Despite(बावजूद)
Synonyms: against, although, even though, even with, in contempt of

14. Recognized(स्वीकृत/मान्यता-प्राप्त)
Synonyms: accepted, identified, known, perceived, remembered

15. Constituting(गठन/निर्मित
Synonyms: create, establish, aggregate, complement, complete
Antonyms: destroy, ruin, break, disarrange, disperse

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

After long delays, a Supreme Court push is needed to establish the Lokpal
It should have never come to this on the Lokpal. That it requires a Supreme Court order to nudge the government to make any progress towards establishing the anti-graft institution is a poor commentary on its functioning. The court has asked the eight-member Search Committee under the Lokpal Act to recommend a panel of names before the end of February. This shortlist has to be sent to the Selection Committee, headed by the Prime Minister. It has taken five years since the Lokpal Act, 2013, received the President’s assent on January 1, 2014, for a Search Committee to even begin its work. It was formed only on September 27, 2018, after Common Cause, an NGO, filed a contempt petition against the government over the delay in constituting the authority despite a Supreme Court verdict in April 2017. It is true that setting up the Search Committee requires some groundwork, as its composition should be drawn from diverse fields such as anti-corruption policy, public administration, law, banking and insurance; also, half its membership should consist of women, backward class, minority and SC/ST candidates. However, it is the government’s duty to expedite this process and not cite it as a reason for delay. Even after it was formed, the Search Committee has been handicapped because of lack of office space, manpower, infrastructure and a secretariat. The court has now asked the government to provide the required infrastructure. In the past too, the court has admonished the Centre for the delay in creating the institution. In its April 2017 verdict, the court brushed aside the reason that the government was awaiting the passage of an amendment based on a parliamentary committee report and said there was no legal bar on the Selection Committee moving ahead with its work even if there was a vacancy in it.

There is a good deal of politics behind the delay. The Selection Committee, which includes the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist, has met in the past without Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the Congress in the Lok Sabha. He has been skipping meetings, as he is aggrieved that the government has not made him a full member, and has roped him in as a ‘special invitee’. The government sticks to its view that he has not been recognised as the Leader of the Opposition by the Speaker. This minor issue has been resolved in respect of appointments to other posts such as CBI Director and Central Vigilance Commissioner by a simple amendment to treat the leader of the largest Opposition party as the Leader of the Opposition for this purpose. This amendment has not been brought about despite a parliamentary committee report endorsing the idea in December 2015. Nothing except the lack of political will to establish the Lokpal can explain years of delay.

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