Danger of loosing outcome of 2011 anti-corruption movement

As the NGO functionaries recover from the almost ‘panic like situation’ in the Sector, there is an urgent need to examine and understand, did we become tools in the hands of the bureaucracy cum executive combined. Need to understand what has transpired so far

  • On 20th June 2016 Govt notifies S.14 (g) & (h) making it mandatory to file assets & liabilities return by functionaries of NGOs.
  • Understandably the Sector goes in overdrive trying to understand the implications as well as lobbying to have the requirement delayed.
  • Govt brings hastily prepared Lokpal Amendment Bill 2016 in the parliament on 27th July and has it approved in both houses of parliament, within two days of presenting the bill.
  • The Govt does not make any effort to pass the Lokpal Amendment Bill 2014, which has been pending in parliament since Dec’2014 mainly to allow Leader of the largest party in Parliament in lieu of Leader of Opposition for selection of Lokpal, clearly indicating that the Govt has little interest in putting in place the Lokpal Institution.
  • Lokpal Amendment Bill 2016 authorizes Govt to comprehensively prescribe the ‘form and manner of declaration of assets & liabilities by the public servants’
  • Thus in one stroke, the govt has taken the power in its own hands of the entire process which was defined in the Act : what to be declared, how often to be declared and how govt will deal with this information so declared. Earlier Act required the information to be declared within 30 days of appointment, and thereafter every year by a declared govt functionary, PM, ministers and MPs and to make it public.
  • All this without giving any relaxation to the NGO functionaries, who still remain defined as public servant (S.14 (g) & (h)) and have to file the returns after the govt decides the format. All the Govt has done is given extension to 31st December 2016, which in any case is applicable to all public servants.

Thus using the anxieties of the NGO Sector to its own benefit, the bureaucracy has taken in its own hands how and what needs to be declared. Major outcome of 2011 anti-corruption movement seems to be in danger of getting lost in the legal / bureaucratic maze.

Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail: socio-research@sma.net.in; website: http://www.srr-foundation.org

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5 Responses to Danger of loosing outcome of 2011 anti-corruption movement

  1. Tom says:

    thanks for clarifying

  2. Avineesh Matta says:

    Any new dispensation must allow public debate and its relevance to the objects desired to be achieved by a particular legislation. What and how is to be declared is already prescribed under rules.
    It is appreciable that Government is responsive to the demand of NGOs and has deferred the filing of return as public servants by the functionaries. a functionary who functions with integrity in a bonafide NGO should have no worry to file assets returns. Only objection could be its availability in public domain, which may be misused by anti-social and criminal elements.
    Let’s wait for the final outcome by December 2016.

  3. Subhash Mittal says:

    Tom, Lokpal Amendment Bill 2016 as introduced in Lok Sabha on 27th July only. You may be mixing notification date for notifying ‘competent authority’ which was 20th June.

  4. Tom says:

    ‘hastily prepared Lokpal Amendment Bill 2016 in the parliament on 27th July ‘ is it July or June?

    • Subhash Mittal says:

      Tom, Amendment Bill 2016 was introduced in parliament on 27th July only unless you are mixing it with the notifications for notifying competent authority then that was 20th June.

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