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Fast for Jan Lokpal Bill to Fight Corruption

Global Relay Fast in Solidarity with Anna Hazare's Fast in India

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To,  

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Mrs. Pratibha Patil, President of India
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance 

Dear Manmohanji, Pratibhaji and Soniaji,


I am writing to let you know that I will fast in April 2011 in solidarity with the indefinite fast satyagraha of veteran social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare demanding passage of the 'Jan Lokpal bill'. I fully endorse the Jan Lokpal Bill, an empowering anti-corruption bill drafted by leading civil society activists and oppose the government's attempt to pass a watered down version of the same.

 
Government's versions of Lokpal Bill have been introduced eight times in Parliament since 1968, all of which lacked teeth to fight corruption and even the weakest version of this bill has not been passed so far because the bill seeks to investigate politicians. The latest draft of Lokpal Bill prepared by the Government rather than strengthening the existing weak anti-corruption systems, seeks to completely insulate politicians from any kind of action initiated against them.

The people's version of this bill, Jan Lokpal Bill, gives more power to fight corruption effectively. Salient features of this bill include central and state level independent bodies Lokpal and Lokayukta respectively, having power to:

1. Complete any investigation and trial within two years so the corrupt can be brought to justice immediately
2. Order dismissal of a corrupt officer,
3. Investigate and prosecute any judge,
4. Enquire into and hear every complaint and prosecution against any officer or politician without needing any sort of permission.

Politicians will not be involved in the selections of chairperson and members of Lokpal & Lokayukta, which will be done through a transparent and public participatory process. This bill ensures that public grievances get resolved in a time bound manner and loss caused to the tax payer due to corruption will be recovered from the convicts. Also, the convicted may be sentenced to a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life imprisonment.

I have decided to join hands with millions of my compatriots in this crucial fight against corruption and demand that the Government immediately pass Jan Lokpal bill.

Sincerely,

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