A Prime Minister enjoying complete immunity from any kind of investigations would himself become the biggest security threat,lawyer Shanti Bhushan has said in a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,explaining why the Anna Hazare camp was insisting on strong measures to curb corruption including bringing the Prime Minister under the purview of the proposed office of Lokpal.
Government feels that ongoing investigations would make a Prime Minister dysfunctional. So did Mr Rajiv Gandhi become dysfunctional after investigations started in Bofors case? Did Mr Narasimha Rao become dysfunctional due to investigations in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha case? Bhushan has asked in his 14-page letter that is the second in the last two days to Mukherjee.
The PM is privy to the entire security related information of this country. What if Mr Madhu Koda (former chief minister of Jharkhand) or A Raja (former Telecommunications minister) became the Prime Minister of this country,which is quite likely in this era of coalition politics? What if he or she sold such crucial information? If a PM held 15 portfolios,would all these ministries be outside the ambit of Lokpal? he asked. Bhushan said contrary to claims of many,the PM did not enjoy any immunity from investigations under the Constitution. Many prime ministers have faced investigations in the past. Does the government plan to amend the Constitution to grant the PM such immunity?
Bhushan has similarly explained the reasons behind some of its other demands including empowering the Lokpal to investigate corruption cases against judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts as well.
The present system,under which the Chief Justice of India gives permission to register an FIR,has ended up protecting corrupt judges. Permissions have been given in two cases in the last 20 years despite allegations of corruption against so many judges. What is being proposed in the Jan Lokpal Bill is that the permission to register FIR against corruption of any judge should be granted by a seven-member bench of the Lokpal rather than the CJI, he said.