New Delhi: Coming out strongly in support of Team Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill, Aamir Khan agreed to most of the provision’s of the Civil Society’s draft. On inclusion of PM, Judiciary and MPs, he said ‘PM should come under the purview of Lokpal’, ‘Lokpal should have power to grant permission to register FIR against a Judge’, ‘Lokpal should be able to investigate allegations against MPs’.
India Against Corruption had sent a questionnaire consisting of 20 questions on key issues on Lokpal Bill, which was sent across to 250 people. Aamir Khan responded to the questionnaire.
On the model and structure of Lokpal, he said ‘Same bill should provide for Lokpal at Centre and Lokayukta at Sate level’, ‘Anti-corruption branch of CBI should be merged with Lokpal’, and agrees to the delegation of powers within Lokpal as demanded by Team Anna.
On public grievance, Aamir agreed with Team Anna view that corrupt officers should be penalized and the penalty amount should be compensated to the citizen whose work has been delayed. Team Anna had suggested that all Government departments should form a Citizen Charter defining which officer would be responsible for what work and the duration in which the work would be completed. If the charter is violated, then Team Anna’s Bill has a provision of imposing a penalty, whereas the Govt’s lokpal is silent on what would happen if the Charter is violated. It is to be noted that many Govt departments already have a Charter but it is not adhered to due to lack of penalty provisions on the erring officer.
Aamir strongly felt that Lokpal should not be under government’s control, he should be accountable to the people of the country. According to Team Anna’s draft, any citizen can file a petition in Supreme Court for removal of Lokpal members, whereas in Govt’s draft, these powers are vested with political bosses. He writes, “Government can also file a petition to Supreme Court if Government wants to seek removal of any member” If the officers working under the Lokpal are found to be corrupt, Aamir endorses the view of Team Anna that an Independent Commission should be formed which would look into such complaints.
On selection of Lokpal, Aamir differed with both Team Anna’s and Govt’s view. The actor opines that no politician should be in the panel. He writes, “Selection process should have 4 judges and 4 independent constitutional authorities, and no politicians”. While in Team Anna’s Bill the selection committee would consist of 2 politicians, 4 judges & 2 independent constitutional authorities will select Lokpal and members, Govt’s draft has a selection team which consists of 6 out of 10 members directly from the ruling establishment.
He also categorically said that Lokpal should be empowered to remove corrupt public/government servant. He should also be responsible for protection of the whistle blowers and witnesses.
He also demands that maximum punishment should be life imprisonment, higher punishment if rank of accused is higher, higher fines if accused are business entities and if successfully convicted, a business entity should be blacklisted from future government contracts.