Friday, October 19, 2012

Kejriwal announces internal probe by retired judges against three aides

NEW DELHI: In view of the corruption charges leveled against some of its own activists, India Against Corruption (IAC) on Friday decided to form an independent ombudsman to probe its prominent accused members.

IAC's Prashant Bhushan has been accused of irregularities in a real estate deal in Himachal Pradesh, Mayank Gandhi accused of having links with builders and Anjali Damania questioned in her land deals in Maharashtra.

In an press statement, the IAC which has been at the forefront of an anti-corruption movement in the country, said: "Some allegations have been raised against various members of India Against Corruption (IAC) since it took up its fight against corruption. IAC has from time to time requested the government to set up an independent enquiry to investigate into the matter and give us double the punishment than prescribed if found guilty."

Therefore, IAC's Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that the party "has formed an independent ombudsmen consisting of three retired judges enjoying a reputation of high integrity and independence to inquire into any charges made against key members of IAC."

Justice AP Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi high court; justice BH Marlapalle, retired judge Bombay high court and justice Jaspal Singh, retired judge Delhi High Court have been appointed as the members of the ombudsman.

The ombudsman, IAC said, would "examine in depth the allegations and material against IAC members, their defense and give a report on whether the allegations show any illegal or immoral act being committed by IAC members. If any member is found guilty of any illegal or immoral activity he would be expected to resign from the proposed party."

Currently some allegations have been made against Anjali Damania, Prashant Bhushan and Mayank Gandhi. "We are referring these cases to this Ombudsman," the IAC said adding that the ombudsman will expeditiously inquire into these charges and give its report as early as possible and within 3 months.

Refuting former IPS officer Y P Singh's allegations that Arvind Kejriwal had concealed information about Sharad Pawar, Kejriwal said that he had raised corruption charges against the NCP chief earlier and there was no point in repeating it. Kejriwal pointed out he had held a press conference and demanded his (Sharad Pawar's) removal during a fast in August."...We are selective because we are very responsible. Without evidence, we won't raise any allegations. What Y P Singh has raised are very strong evidences and we too have raised it," he said.

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