Keeping the pressure on to bring the prime minister and the higher judiciary within the ambit of the proposed Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare’s team says that it wants non-government organizations (NGOs) to be kept out of its purview – or at least those that are not government-aided.
In a meeting with the parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances and law and justice, which had invited Anna Hazare and his associates to give their views on the Lokpal Bill, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan argued that NGOs should be kept out of the bill’s purview.
However, a committee member objected saying that all ‘NGOs are not angels who have descended from heaven and there are some corrupt ones as well.’ Bhushan then revised his stance saying that NGOs that receive government aid could be brought under Lokpal’s purview.
In what was construed as an attempt to exempt NGOs receiving money from private donors, national and international, Hazare’s team argued that if somebody received some money from his friend and misused it, there could be a civil suit for it.
It should be noted here that India Against Corruption, which is Hazare’s NGO, has enlisted many high-profile donors, including private firms, banks, CEOs, and corporate groups. Also, India Vision Foundation, an NGO founded by Kiran Bedi, who is part of Hazare’s team, has many national and international donors, including Lehman Brothers, Bharti Wal-Mart, and foreign embassies.
Also read: Lokpal bill in Lok Sabha today – some highlights of the bill