Pass Lokpal, whistle blowers bills in monsoon session: Aruna Roy

Published: 24th August 2012 08:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2012 08:36 PM   |  A+A-


National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy Friday demanded passage of the Lokpal bill, the grievance redressal bill and the whistle blowers' protection bill in the ongoing monsoon session of parliament, saying the delay bodes ill for those who work against corruption and mismanagement.

In a letter to NAC chairperson and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Roy said she was "exceedingly disturbed and alarmed" at the violence unleashed on anyone who asks to see records or raises issues of corruption.

Roy, who is convener of the NAC's working group on transparency and accountability, said each ministry should have a mechanism to deal with complaints of attacks on people who make complaints of corruption related to its programmes.

She said there were instances of laws being misused, and harassment of and registration of false cases against those who raise issues of corruption.

"The government seems to take it as routine, unfortunately, instead of seeing this as a warning of both the increasing discredit of institutions of governance and the callousness of what may happen to self-respecting citizens of this country," Roy said in the letter.

She said delay in passage of key anti-corruption legislation bodes ill for citizens who exercise their obligation to work against mismanagement and corruption in governance at the point of delivery.

"Once again, I would like to underscore the need for the Lokpal bill, grievance redressal bill and the whistle blowers protection bill to be passed in this session of parliament. This is a demand that has repeatedly been made by the NCPRI (National Campaign for People's Right to Information) and many other citizens' organisations, and echoed by most people across the country," she said.

The monsoon session of parliament is scheduled to conclude Sep 7.

'Stop new nuclear power projects'

Aruna Roy has urged Sonia Gandhi to ask the government to stop new nuclear power projects and evolve a comprehensive energy policy, with comparative studies of different non-conventional and conventional energy systems.

"I strongly feel the government should stop the installation and commission of new projects of nuclear energy," Roy said in her letter to Gandhi.

"The government should evolve a comprehensive energy policy which would include a comparative study of the costs of different systems of non-conventional and conventional energy, and place this in the public domain," said Roy, Thursday after her visit to the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu.

Roy, who met the local residents in Kudankulam, said: "All of them expressed their anguish and dismay at the government's insistence on going ahead with the plant, turning a deaf ear to their legitimate concerns of safety and survival."

Stating the process of generating nuclear power should be completely transparent, the activist said the government should initiate a dialogue with the locals.

It should also refrain from all excesses, including the blatant misuse of law on people agitating peacefully - false cases, cancelling passports and registration of organisations, restricting physical movement, and draconian measures to dispel dissent and difference of opinion.

"If these and other nuclear installations are for energy alone, why should information related to safety, production, and efficiency be withheld under the pretext of security," asked Roy in her letter.


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