While hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause, the government told the Supreme Court that the process to appoint a Lokpal has begun and that a crucial meeting will take place on March 1.
Even though the Lokpal Act was passed in 2014, the government has delayed the appointment of a Lokpal for three years by initiating an amendment that is still waiting to be passed by the parliament.
RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj and Venkatesh Nayak talk about their hopes and expectations from the Centre for the year ahead.
Jitender Singh, the minister of state in the prime minister’s office has made repeated false claims in parliament on the state of transparency legislations
While all the powerful businessmen and politicians have escaped the CBI dragnet, a man like H.C. Gupta – whom everyone unhesitatingly certifies to be “the most honest officer” of his generation – has to go through the ordeal of a trial.
Given its counterproductive amendments, the government might not have any real intention of allowing the watchdog to emerge, says activist Anjali Bhardwaj.
“We are in politics because we feel there is a serious threat to the idea of India.”
NGO heads who fought for the transparency law are also concerned that the government is trying to dilute its strength by classifying NGO officials as ‘public servants’.
The citizen’s collective Wada Na Todo Abhiyan has painstakingly documented the systematic budgetary cuts in social welfare programmes over the last two years and has called out the government’s pro-corporate policies that have marginalised the poor further.
With the April 15 deadline looming, neither the central government nor officials themselves are showing any urgency.
Those corporates which wish to promote honesty should pledge to publicly display all their transactions with the Central and state governments on their websites.
Information is power, and no one recognises this more acutely than those who don’t want to share it.