Friday, July 29, 2011

Lokpal Bill row: Delhi Police denies Team Anna permission to hold fast

New Delhi, July 29 (ANI): Delhi Police on Friday denied permission to veteran social activist Anna Hazare to hold an indefinite hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar here on August 16.

The Delhi Police referred to the Supreme Court's 2009 order to deny team Anna permission for the indefinite strike anywhere in Delhi, the Times Now channel reports.

The police, in its letter to Hazare, said that as Parliament would be in session, no group could be allowed to capture the entire space at Jantar Mantar, as many groups come out on protests during that period.

The letter further states that if team Anna wished they could hold their strikes in Delhi's outskirts, or give a definite time limit during which they would be allowed a sit-in protest.

Charging the government of bringing a fractured Lokpal Bill, Hazare had said on Thursday in Maharashtra's Ralegaon Siddi town that he would protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on August 16.

"The entire country will protest with me at Jantar Mantar on August 16...This is not Hazare's protest but the entire country's. The people need to look at this as a second fight for their freedom and they should all come out on the streets," Hazare said.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the official draft of the Lokpal Bill and trashed the key proposals moved by Team Anna.

The Bill provides for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Bill envisages setting up the institution of Lokpal consisting of a chairperson and eight members with the stipulation that half of the members shall be judicial members.

It will have its own Investigation Wing and Prosecution Wing with such officers and staff as are necessary to carry out its functions.

The Lokpal shall inquire into allegations of corruption made in respect of Prime Minister, after he has demitted office; a Minister of the Union; a Member of Parliament; any Group "A" officer or equivalent; Chairperson or member or officer equivalent to Group "A" in any body/ Board/ corporation/ authority/ company/ society/ trust/ autonomous body established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly financed or controlled by the Central Government; any director, manager, secretary or other officer of a society or association of persons or trust wholly or partly financed or aided by the government or in receipt of any donations from the public and whose annual income exceeds such amount as the Central Government may by notification specify.

However, the organisations created for religious purposes and receiving public donations would be outside the purview of Lokpal.

The Lokpal shall not require sanction or approval under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, in cases where prosecution is proposed.

The Lokpal will also have powers to attach the property of corrupt public servants acquired through corrupt means.


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