Lack of accountability, not Anna's fast, should be the focus: ACHR

Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR)which is fundamentally focused in promoting and protecting  human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Asian region has come out with a report asking that the focus of the Lokpal debate must be the question of accountability not any movement or personality.

In its executive summary Director, Suhas Chakma writes that ‘While Hazare has certainly been playing the game of brinkmanship for adoption of an effective Lok Pal Bill, attacking Anna Hazare and his team has become the latest fashion in the civil society circles.’

Criticizing the government draft of the Bill it says that ‘UPA government seeks to provide the same impunity in the Draft Lok Pal Bill 2011 by treating the public servants who exercise sovereign powers of the State as vulnerable as the Dalits and tribals, undoubtedly the most oppressed in the country.’

The report has criticized the government for not having the political will to address corruption. It says ‘As the Government of India has no political will to address corruption, it introduced the flawed Lok Pal Bill which has been rejected by half of the members in the drafting committee i.e. civil society members. The least the government of India could have done was to reflect the views of both the government and the civil society members for the parliament to decide.’ 

‘Any Lok Pal Bill that fails to establish accountability regime will not address the scourge of corruption. The prior sanction regime undermines independence of judiciary as it is the officials and not the judges who determine whether prosecution should proceed based on the evidence on record. It is an insult to the judiciary and exposes the government’s lack of faith in the judiciary.’ the report states.  

ACHR recommends a four point recommendation to break the impasse which includes withdrawal of the Draft Lok Bill, 2011and dissolution of the Parliamentary Standing Committee. It also recommends for formation of new drafting committee and all these must be done within a reasonable but specific time frame and lastly it recommends Anna to call off the fast if these demands are met.

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