Lokpal, at last

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Lokpal, at last

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Lokpal
The establishment of the anti-graft body is a welcome development
The selection of Justice P.C. Ghose as the first Lokpal has come after an unjustified(अनुचित ) delay(देरी) of five years. Nevertheless(फिर भी,/के बावजूद), it ought to be welcomed as a milestone in the cause(वजह/संभव) of fighting(लड़ना) corruption(भ्रष्टाचार ) in high places. The concept(धारणा/विचार) of an institutional(संस्थागत ) mechanism, or an anti-corruption(भ्रष्टाचार-विरोधी) ombudsman(लोकपाल), has been around for over 50 years. It was finally enacted(अधिनियमित) as a law in 2013, and came into effect on January 16, 2014. Some of the credit for driving this legislation(क़ानून/विधान) must be given to Anna Hazare’s movement against what many saw as unreasonable(अकारण/अनुचित) levels of corruption under the previous UPA regime(शासन). However, since then, barring(को छोड़कर/बिना) a report by the Standing Committee of Parliament and a couple of amendments(संशोधन/सुधार) passed in 2016 on the declaration(घोषणा /एलान) of assets(संपत्ति) by public servants, there has been very little progress. At one point, the government’s lack of political will to establish(स्थापित करना/सिद्द करना) a Lokpal became obvious(स्पष्ट/प्रत्यक्ष) , leading to the Supreme Court repeatedly(दोहराते हुए) asking it to show progress in its efforts. Ultimately(अंतिम रूप में), it was the court’s stern ultimatum to appoint a Lokpal within a timeframe that worked. The appointment system is quite long, a two-stage process. A search committee has to be formed. It recommends(सिफारिश की/सलाह देना) a panel of names to the high-power selection committee, which comprises(शामिल/समावेश करना) the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India (or his nominee) and an eminent(प्रख्यात /विख्यात) jurist. The selection panel has to choose from a short-list consisting(मिलकर) of names for the posts of Lokpal chairperson, and judicial and non-judicial members.

The government had initially(शुरू में) taken the position that it was awaiting the passage of amendments based on the parliamentary committee report. One amendment pertained(संबंधित/मुनासिब होना) to including(समेत/सहित) the leader of the largest party in the Opposition in the selection committee, in the absence(अनुपस्थिति/अभाव) of a recognised(मान्यता-प्राप्त/स्वीकृत) Leader of the Opposition. In a verdict in April 2017, the Supreme Court rejected the excuse(बहाने/माफ करना) and said there was no legal bar on the selection committee moving ahead even if there was a vacancy. It is not clear why this simple amendment, carried out in respect of selection committees for the posts of CBI Director and Chief Information Commissioner, was not made in the Lokpal Act. The Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, did not want to attend selection committee meetings as a ‘special invitee(विशेष आमंत्रित व्यक्ति ‘)’ and wanted full membership. Now that the Lokpal has been chosen, victims(पीड़ितों/मुहरा) of corruption have a viable(व्यवहार्य/जीवक्षम) avenue(द्वार/मार्ग) of redress. The Lokpal will take over the work of sanctioning(स्वीकृति) prosecution(अभियोजन/ अभियोग) , besides exercising its power to order preliminary inquiries and full-fledged investigations by any agency, including the CBI. It may be unrealistic(अवास्तविक) to expect any dramatic(नाटकीय ) impact(प्रभाव) on the lives of the common people, but the Lokpal and other members have a historic responsibility to live up to popular expectations.

 

Important Vocabulary

1. cause(वजह/संभव)
Synonyms: element, explanation, matter, motivation, motive
Antonyms: discouragement, effect, result, conclusion, finish

2. recommends(सिफारिश की/सलाह देना)
Synonyms: advocate, back, confirm, endorse, favor
Antonyms: censure, condemn, deny, discourage, dissuade

3. assets(संपत्ति)
Synonyms: belongings, capital, credit, equity, estate
Antonyms: debt, liabilities

4. comprises(शामिल/समावेश करना)
Synonyms: amount to, compose, constitute, contain, cover
Antonyms: abandon, destroy, exclude, neglect, ruin

5. eminent(प्रख्यात /विख्यात)
Synonyms: big-name, distinguished, esteemed, famed, high-ranking
Antonyms: common, inconspicuous, inferior, insignificant, obscure

6. pertained(संबंधित/मुनासिब होना)
Synonyms: apply, refer, relate, affect, appertain
Antonyms: disconnect, disjoin, divide, part, separate

7. viable(व्यवहार्य/जीवक्षम
Synonyms: applicable, feasible, possible, usable, workable
Antonyms: impossible, unfeasible, unlikely, unachievable, unpractical

8. excuse(बहाने/माफ करना)
Synonyms: alibi, apology, justification, pretext, rationalization
Antonyms: permanent

9. victims(पीड़ितों/मुहरा)
Synonyms: casualty, fatality, martyr, sufferer, butt
Antonyms: criminal, culprit

10. prosecution(अभियोजन/ अभियोग)
Synonyms: pursuit, accomplishment, achievement, execution, performance
Antonyms: defeat, failure, neglect

11. sanctioning(स्वीकृति
Synonyms: accredit, allow, approve, certify, empower
Antonyms: deny, disagree, disallow, disapprove, invalidate

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

The establishment of the anti-graft body is a welcome development
The selection of Justice P.C. Ghose as the first Lokpal has come after an unjustified delay of five years. Nevertheless, it ought to be welcomed as a milestone in the cause of fighting corruption in high places. The concept of an institutional mechanism, or an anti-corruption ombudsman, has been around for over 50 years. It was finally enacted as a law in 2013, and came into effect on January 16, 2014. Some of the credit for driving this legislation must be given to Anna Hazare’s movement against what many saw as unreasonable levels of corruption under the previous UPA regime. However, since then, barring a report by the Standing Committee of Parliament and a couple of amendments passed in 2016 on the declaration of assets by public servants, there has been very little progress. At one point, the government’s lack of political will to establish a Lokpal became obvious, leading to the Supreme Court repeatedly asking it to show progress in its efforts. Ultimately, it was the court’s stern ultimatum to appoint a Lokpal within a timeframe that worked. The appointment system is quite long, a two-stage process. A search committee has to be formed. It recommends a panel of names to the high-power selection committee, which comprises the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India (or his nominee) and an eminent jurist. The selection panel has to choose from a short-list consisting of names for the posts of Lokpal chairperson, and judicial and non-judicial members.

The government had initially taken the position that it was awaiting the passage of amendments based on the parliamentary committee report. One amendment pertained to including the leader of the largest party in the Opposition in the selection committee, in the absence of a recognised Leader of the Opposition. In a verdict in April 2017, the Supreme Court rejected the excuse and said there was no legal bar on the selection committee moving ahead even if there was a vacancy. It is not clear why this simple amendment, carried out in respect of selection committees for the posts of CBI Director and Chief Information Commissioner, was not made in the Lokpal Act. The Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, did not want to attend selection committee meetings as a ‘special invitee’ and wanted full membership. Now that the Lokpal has been chosen, victims of corruption have a viable avenue of redress. The Lokpal will take over the work of sanctioning prosecution, besides exercising its power to order preliminary inquiries and full-fledged investigations by any agency, including the CBI. It may be unrealistic to expect any dramatic impact on the lives of the common people, but the Lokpal and other members have a historic responsibility to live up to popular expectations.