News / Asia

India Passes Long Pending Anti-Corruption Legislation

FILE - People stand in front of the Indian parliament building on the opening day of the winter session in New Delhi, Nov. 22, 2012.
FILE - People stand in front of the Indian parliament building on the opening day of the winter session in New Delhi, Nov. 22, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India's parliament has passed a landmark anti-corruption bill, more than two years after a civil society movement demanded a tough law to fight graft. The government pushed through the legislation after suffering electoral defeats blamed partly on its failure to curb corruption.

The anti-corruption legislation, known as the Lokpal Bill, will create an independent ombudsman headed by a former judge to prosecute bureaucrats and politicians charged with graft.  It was passed by the lower house on Wednesday, a day after the Upper House approved the measure.
   
The ruling Congress Party's massive losses in recent local elections and the strong showing by a new party born on an anti-corruption platform prompted the government to fast track the legislation this week.

The main opposition party, also wanting credit for the Lokpal Bill, supported the legislation, ensuring its easy passage through parliament.
  
Law Minister Kapil Sibal called its passage a “historic moment.”

“I think all of us stood together on this very important occasion to give a message to the people of India and to tell civil society that we are listening to your concerns, we are sensitive to your concerns,” said Sibal.

A nationwide civil society movement two years ago had demanded the implementation of tougher laws following the revelation of massive scams in awarding government contracts and licenses.  The angry public demands prompted the government to draft a bill, but it failed to pass through parliament, and had been languishing since 2011.

That raised fears it would meet the fate of similar anti-corruption bills that had been introduced by successive governments since the 1960’s, but failed to make it through parliament. 

But the Lokpal bill is now set to become law after being signed by the president.

Anti-corruption campaigner, Anna Hazare, who led the nationwide movement for the law, welcomed its passage and broke a fast he began nine days ago to demand its enactment.
   
Hazare thanked parliamentarians saying it was a good step for the nation. He says it is the first time since independence that the country has an effective law to deal with corruption.

In an effort to show that the Congress party-led coalition is serious about tackling corruption, senior Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi said the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has more laws in the pipeline to tackle the problem. 
 
“We need a comprehensive anti-corruption code in this country. The UPA has developed a powerful anti corruption framework consisting of eight new central laws to tackle corruption… I believe it is our responsibility to complete our unfinished work in our fight against corruption,” he said.

But the political party that was born from the anti-corruption movement denounced the measure as a “weak” law that would not be able to tackle graft effectively.

Manish Sisodia, a leader of the Aam Aadmi party, says local municipalities, police, government schools and hospitals, will not be covered by the Lokpal. He asks what will we do with such a Lokpal.
   
A new report by the Washington-based advocacy organization Global Financial Integrity says illicit cash outflows from India have been increasing over the years, to about $344 billion in the decade that ended in 2011. It says India was the fifth largest exporter of such cash after China, Russia, Mexico and Malaysia.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehtasaab from: Washington, DC
December 18, 2013 3:07 PM
Congratulation to all brave Indian. Now India needs another bill to bring back corrupted money from foreign banks where Congress party's members are hiding those number two money.


by: Mehtasaab from: Washington, DC
December 18, 2013 2:57 PM
This bill was pending because of corrupted congress party. Congress did not want to pass that bill because many congress party's member can get into trouble. I am glad BJP and AAP getting together to fight against corruption (India's enemy number one),

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid