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Common Cause and many renowned citizens have filed a PIL challenging the arbitrary appointments of India's new Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioner as illegal and void, and violative of the principles of 'impeccable integrity' and 'institutional integrity' laid down by the Apex Court in the landmark Vineet Narain Vs Union of India case of 1998.

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Smear Campaign against Civil Society Nominees on Drafting Panel for Lokpal Bill

In the following joint statement, Common Cause and Development Alternatives have expressed their solidarity with the civil society nominees on the joint drafting committee for Lokpal Bill, against whom an orchestrated campaign of vilification has been mounted by certain elements in the political establishment and the bureaucracy, who are alarmed at the prospect of establishment of an independent and effective anti- corruption institution.

 You are requested to give wide publicity to this statement in your esteemed journal.

With regards,

Kamal Jaswal

Director,

Common Cause

Affirmation of Solidarity

The popular anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare has already secured a major victory in forcing the Central government to concede an equal voice to civil society in the formulation of a law to establish an independent and credible institution for combating corruption and restoring probity in public life. This unprecedented development has alarmed the corrupt elements in the political establishment and the bureaucracy, who have hitherto enjoyed a virtual immunity on account of the structured ineffectiveness and pliability of the existing anti-corruption institutions. These elements are making concerted efforts to derail the drafting process by questioning the representative capacity of the civil society nominees on the joint drafting committee and mounting an orchestrated campaign of calumny, slander and insinuation against Anna Hazare, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Santosh Hegde.

We are confident that the perpetrators of dirty tricks in the sordid drama now being enacted will be exposed sooner than later.  They will not succeed in their design to distract the civil society representatives on the drafting panel from their immediate task of putting together an effective Lokpal Bill and mobilizing mass support for its early enactment.

We laud the invaluable contributions of Anna Hazare, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Santosh Hegde in combating corruption and upholding civil liberties and the rule of law. We stand firmly by their side in the ongoing struggle to cleanse the structures of governance of the taint of corruption and restore the credibility of democratic institutions.

                                                                                     

  Kamal Kant Jaswal                  Ashok Khosla                        

      Common Cause               Development Alternatives              

 sd/-                                          sd/-