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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jan Lokpal’s final hours

Dear friends across India,

It’s outrageous - MPs may gut the Lokpal bill in its final stages, depriving the Lokpal committee from the independence it needs to prosecute corrupt officials! We only have 24 hours left before Parliament gives the final vote -- click here to use our easy and free fax tool now, and demand MPs to put the CBI under the Lokpal, not above it:

Sign the petition!
Cabinet has just endorsed a bill that puts the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal - it’s a huge victory for all of us! But a much bigger fight will start in less than 24 hours - one that could throw everything we’ve fought for straight into the wastebasket.

The Cabinet’s bill would handcuff the Lokpal committee, allowing it to go only after corruption cases previously ‘green-lit’ by the government. This is outrageous - without the independence to investigate and prosecute, Jan Lokpal would effectively lack the teeth it needs to fight the corruption that holds India hostage.

Now it’s the Parliament’s turn to vote - and they go into session in less than 24 hours! Let’s tell our MPs that we will not sit idly by while it tries to gut the Lokpal in the last stages. Sign below and forward to everyone you know - we will fax thousands of signatures to MPs offices across the country before the voting begins:


It was India’s people power that stopped the Prime Minister from getting immunity from Lokpal - without our one million signatures, thousands of faxes, dozens of stunts, and giant billboard right across the street from the Parliament, this victory would’ve not been possible! Above all, this win sends a powerful message - that no one, not even the most powerful person in India, should be immune from punishment for corruption.

But the Cabinet also found time to sneak in dangerous provisions to the same bill that could undo all our hard work in seconds. If they get what they want, the Lokpal committee would be powerless to initiate any investigations on their own, and instead only be allowed to handle cases that are first approved by the Central Bureau of Investigation - a government agency with a notorious reputation for inaction. This way, even if the PM were to be suspected of corruption, the CBI could easily stop the Lokpal from investigating, let alone prosecuting him!

Anna Hazare knows that the new Lokpal bill is toothless -- and has decided to go on a three-day fast in protest. We have no time to waste. Let’s join Team Anna and show our MPs that we will stand for nothing less than a strong and independent Jan Lokpal:


We are so close to the finish line - for months, our voices have combined to build the most powerful anti-corruption bill that India’s ever seen from the ground up. Let’s unite at this final hour and show them once more that resilient people power can face down even the toughest vested interests! 

With hope and determination,

Emma, Jamie, Shibayan, Shivendra, Luis, Benj and all us at Avaaz


Times of India: Govt should bring CBI under Lokpal, say Bedi

CNN-IBN: Govt Lokpal Bill is like a post office: Kejriwal

Deccan Herald: Why CBI is critical

Hindustan Times: Lokpal to be tabled in Lok Sabha tomorrow

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