The lokpal legislation’s journey of over four decades ended on Wednesday with its passage by Lok Sabha. This is welcome. After a tortuous journey, its last phase was speeded up considerably when people had almost given up hope. Praise is due to Congress, BJP as well as Anna Hazare for facilitating legislation that’s an important step in the fight against corruption in public life. To be more effective, it needs to be complemented by other legislation such as one protecting whistleblowers, and enhanced investigative and prosecution skills.
While we should certainly celebrate the passage of the Lokpal Bill, its eventual impact will be contingent on ground level implementation. India’s legislative history has seen many laws grand in ambition, but their impact on society has been poor. A law can never offset the inability to get things done and this is where the state has repeatedly tripped up.
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