Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: new constitution for India

Fast for Lokpal Bill

Anna Hazare is on an indefinite fast for Jan Lokpal Bill. This bill is different from the Lokpal Bill the government has in mind. The government is not ready to meet representatives of activists to reconcile the two bills.

Lokpal Bill is a small step in fighting corruption at the top. The bill has made occasional appears over the last 42 years. Many people have come forward in support of Anna Hazare and there are indefinite fasts in various cities. In California, Indians marched supporting the fast against corruption. Candle light vigil has taken place.

The activists do not want Sharad Pawar, Kapil Sibal and Veerappa Moily in the drafting committee of Lokpal Bill. They do not want politicians to join their movement. Om Prakash Chautala and Uma Bharti had to go back. The activists want the committee to have five ministers and five activists. Swami Agnivesh wants a new constitution for India. Arvind Kejriwal called the people to come to Jantar Mantar and make it the Tahrir Square of India. The movement is known as crusade against corruption.

Permission of Speaker or Chairman should not be a requirement for prosecution of MPs. Permission of President should not be a requirement for prosecution of Prime Minister and other ministers.

Sometimes the motives of people who fight against corruption are questioned. Indian Justice Party lead Udit Raj has said that actions against K. G. Balakrishnan and Dinakaran are because they are Dalits. He did not say the two judges were not corrupt. He said “There were serious complaints against former CJIs A. S. Anand and Y. K. Sabharwal too. In Sabhalwal’s case, there was documentary too… But no action was taken against them. In the case of Balakrishnan and Dinakaran, both have been dubbed guilty without any clinching evidence.” Udit Raj can try to prosecute A. S. Anand and Y. K. Sabharwal.

The judicial system we inherited from the British has failed us. The system’s foundation is wrong. It says. No innocent person shall be punished even though hundred criminals escape. Hundred criminals escaping is not justice. Even one criminal escaping is not justice. The system’s foundation should be, No innocent person shall be punished and no criminal shall escape.

Punishment for corruption should be proportionate to the amount. If the punishment for corruption involving 100 rupees is imprisonment for a day, then for 10,000 rupees it should be 100 days, for 1,00,00,000 rupees it should be 1,00,000 days and so on. The punishment period should not have parole or remission. Time spent in hospital should not be considered and period of imprisonment should be extended accordingly. If any loss is caused to the country the loss should be recovered from the corrupt person and that is separate from the punishment for corruption. For example, if a man has a 20 crore rupees bribe and caused 1,000 crore rupees loss he should be punished for the bribe and loss should be recovered from him and if after selling his property if the amount falls short there should be additional punishment. If the act of corruption has resulted in the death of a person, the corrupt person should he hanged.

New constitution for India

India is in need of a new constitution. The problems faced by India are plenty and they cannot be solved by amendments.

1) India should be a federation. The boundaries of states must be fixed after considering all demands for new states and border disputes. At present there are demands for Telangana, Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Rohilkhand, Mithilanchal, Poorvanchal, Coorg, Kutch, Meru Pradesh and Bodoland. There are disputes about Belgaum and Kasargod. Every state should have its own capital. One city cannot be capital of two or more states.

2) India should have presidential system of democracy. President must be elected by MPs and Governors must be elected by MLAs. Parliamentary system is good when there is two party system. India has many parties and coalition governments at centre and states do not function effectively. Even price rise is blamed on coalition.

3) Parliament must be single house. States should have only Legislative Assemblies, not Legislative Councils.

4) States should have more powers. All powers except civil and penal codes, currency, communications, defence and external affairs may be given to states.

5) Right to property shall be a fundamental right. Farmers and others who do not want to sell their land or property to SEZs or companies should be able to hold on to their land and property and there shall be no acquisition by state.

6) There shall be no reservation on the basis of class, caste, tribe or gender in government jobs, government educational institutions, Parliament, Legislative Assemblies, urban, rural and other local bodies.

7) Supreme Court judges shall be appointed by President after approval by Parliament and High Court judges shall be shall be appointed by Governor after approval by Legislative Assemblies. Removal of Supreme Court judges shall be by Parliament and High Court judges shall be by Legislative Assemblies.

8) Constitutional amendments must be approved by three fourths of Legislative Assemblies.

India will soon complete 61 years as a republic. What was good in 1950 is not good in 2011 in spite of repeated amendments, many of which were unnecessary.

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