02nd May 2017 | Editorial Simplified

Editorial Simplified : 02nd May 2017

This Series of posts covers the essential Editorial from prominent newspapers. The Editorial from the newspapers are compiled by the Subject Teachers form the Academy and provided in notes format so that the aspirants does not waste their precious time in sifting through the newspapers.

The Hindu 

Editorial : Lokpal and the law

Context:

The Supreme Court has ruled that the existing Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is workable and the selection committee shall go ahead and appoint a Lokpal

Important Points:

  • The government has delayed setting up a Lokpal citing inadequacies in the law, stating that a parliamentary standing committee’s report on proposed amendments to the Lokpal law is still under consideration
  • The main amendment that is needed, as argued by the government, is that of considering the leader of the largest party in opposition as the Leader of Opposition for the sake of participation in the selection panel of the Lokpal
  • The Supreme Court has refuted the Centre’s stand stating that the existing Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is good to go arguing that the fact that some amendments have been proposed and a parliamentary panel has submitted a report do not constitute a legal bar on enforcing the existing law
  • The court has noted that the Act provides for the selection committee to make appointments even in situations of a vacancy in the committee.
  • An amendment is pending since 2014 that would allow considering the leader of the largest opposition party as the Leader of Opposition for selection of a Lokpal, despite provisions relating to the selection of the Chief Information Commissioner and the Central Bureau of Investigation Director having been amended to the same effect.
  • A simple way of resolving the impasse was to recognise the Congress party leader in the Lok Sabha as the Leader of the Opposition.
  • A 1977 Act on the salary of the Opposition Leader defines the position as the leader of the largest party in the opposition and recognised as such by the Speaker. 
  • In the face of this simple procedure, such a delay is inexplicable.
  • What this essentially implies is that the country does not have an anti-corruption ombudsman, not due to any legal hurdle but due to the absence of political will.

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