• kewal sethi

lok pal and prime minister

lok pal and prime minister

the question being debated at present is whether prime minister should be within the jurisdiction of the proposed lok pal.

in 1982, giani zail singh was elected as president of india. three election petitions were filed against him. of course these were rejected later in 1983 by supreme court. but these should not have been entertained at all. my argument then was that president represents the country. it is not the question of an individual. if the president is suspect then whole nation is suspect. this can not be allowed. therefore the provision for election petition against the president should be done away with.

same arguments will hold for the prime minister. he is the executive head of the country. no one can be allowed to stand above him. lok pal is, all said and done, a citizen of india. how can he question the executive head of the country? if the prime minister is corrupt, there are other provisions in the constitution to throw him out. let these be used. but he can not be subjected to enquiry by a public servant, which the lok pal will be. if the lok pal is corrupt, and what guarantee is there that he will not be, what will be happen. without being corrupt on the financial count, he can be corrupted by the absolute power that he would enjoy and may seek to demonstrate it. it is unthinkable.

let us not be swayed by cheap sentimental views that every one should be ready to face enquiry. if he does not have a guilty conscious, it does not matter. he will be exonerated. but what his position will be before that happens. he remains a suspect. the goodness of the name does matter. it is easy to blame some one and if this is repeated a number of times, by different persons (who may have conspired together) there is no dearth of persons who would say that there cannot be smoke without fire. before such a situation develops, think about it dispassionately.

such a provision should never be allowed even if the person now holding the post is willing to come under lok pal jurisdiction. 

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