The parliamentary committee deliberating on the Lokpal Bill has seen some sharp divisions on bringing the prime minister under the ambit of the Lokpal.
A bigger problem is that of bringing lakhs of group C employees under its purview. This is a serious problem: The ratio of Lokpal members to the number of these employees is self-defeating. If the powers to probe malfeasance are delegated to lower-level officials in the set-up, all the problems inherent in present-day investigating agencies—inefficiency, problems of corruption on part of investigators and basically the emergence of another fat bureaucratic layer—will arise in a new form.
Team Anna’s attempts at this sort of bureaucratic aggrandizement should be resisted. A lean and mean Lokpal that checks corruption in high places ought to be the goal.