|Early Times Report |
Jammu, Mar 20: Former Minister Thakur Randhir Singh NCP Chief J&K state while addressing the working committee meeting of senior NCP leaders welcomed the selection of Justice P.C. Ghose retired Supreme court Judge as the first Lokpal.
Singh said 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. And, many saw as unreasonable levels of corruption under the previous UPA regime headed by the Congress party.
He added, "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 time frame that worked. The appointment system is quite long, a two-stage process".
Singh said 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.