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Lokpal Bill: Shanti Bhushan writes to Pranab

In the letter,Bhushan puts forward the arguments raised by Hazare team on provisions of 'Lokpal'.

What if Madhu Koda or A Raja become the Prime Minister of this country? What if a Prime Minister,who is privy to the entire security secrets,sell such crucial information?

In a 14-page letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday,these were some of the reasons raised by Anna Hazare-led civil society members while arguing for bringing the Prime Minister under the purview of Lokpal.

The Hazare team also put forth their arguments for the need of bringing higher judiciary and MPs under the ambit of the ombudsman and their view on the model of the Lokpal as well as whether Lokpal should deal with lower level graft.

In the letter,second in two days,panel co-chair Shanti Bhushan noted that the Prime Minister is privy to the entire security related information of this country.

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“What if Madhu Koda or A Raja became the Prime Minister of this country,which is quite likely in this era of coalition? A Prime Minister enjoying complete immunity from any kind of investigations would himself become the biggest security threat! What if he or she sold such crucial information?” he asked.

“If a Prime Minister held 15 portfolios,would all these ministers be outside the ambit of the Lokpal?” he said,adding that a “corrupt” Prime Minister could become a conduit for receiving bribes on behalf of his ministerial colleagues if immunity is granted to him.

On the issue of Lokpal having powers to probe horse-trading of MPs,Bhushan referred to the cash-for-vote scam in July 2008 during UPA-I’s tenure and said one cannot expect fair investigation under police which is directly under the government.

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“Shouldn’t such investigations be done by an independent body like the Lokpal? After investigations,the police will submit its report to the Speaker. Who will prosecute them? And in which court?” he said.

First published on: 08-06-2011 at 03:48:19 am
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