After eight unsuccessful attempts in the last five decades, the Lokpal Bill finally saw light of day on December 18. However, it is important to understand that the Bill, although a good beginning, is not a magic wand that will banish corruption overnight. To be effective, it must be part of a series of parallel actions, so that we have an effective architecture against corruption.
What should that architecture look like? It must include, in the first instance, four other steps: One, reform of funding and financial accountability of political parties. Two, a systematic increase in the neutral intervention of technology into as many areas as possible where the common man has to deal with government. Three, finalisation of a model legal framework ensuring transparency and fair play in all transactions relating to the disposal and acquisition of national resources and government procurement processes. Four, instituting deterrent action in a timebound and exemplary manner for all acts of corruption, which, in turn, presupposes substantive judicial reforms.
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