Monday, 31 October 2011

Are RTRs Practicable?

Right To Recall
Right TO Reject
There are 2 RTRs demanded by people of India. First, is Right To Recall and second is Right To Reject. Demand for Right To Recall appears to be more. A group of people in state of Gujarat is trying to convince people using face book and other internet media. There is a small video clip explaining how it should be implemented. Honourable Anna Hazare also has included this in the JanLokpal Bill but has a different method for implementation. It appears that Right To Reject has not been given serious thought as yet.
The group says there should be a websitedeveloped and maintained by the government for signing opinion against electedrepresentative if his/her work is not found satisfactory by the voters. Voters should be given a provision on the website to enlist their opinion on the website. If 50% or more voters from the respective constituency sign against the elected representative he/she shall loose the post i. e. shall be recalled. Every voter shall have access to the website. In case a voter is ignorant about posting on website, talathi meaning patwari in a village shall help the voter. Patwari shall take voter's card and do needful on the website. In urban area revenue staff selected for this shall do the needful. This appears to be a good solution however there are loop holes in implementation. These are voter would not have knowledge about work done by the representative except concerning the individual. This would lead to representation against personal grievance. The voter who approaches patwari shall not know what patwari has posted on website. It may be against what he actually desires. Voter may not understand what is real system he/she should use. More can be said about this but shall not pay much dividend. This system is difficult to implement.
Demand made by Annaji and the procedure suggested is filing a case against suitable court against the elected representative. This appears to be a better method. Judiciary can go in to details of reasons and the details of work done by the representative. However this shall lead to many cases and these shall be pending in the court of law. It may so happen that the case is not decided even till the period of 5 years (or whatever is pre-decided for a particular post) is over and the representative is automatically called back. It is difficult to decide cases in the authorised tenure. My friend says, first 2 years no Recall. Afterwards the case may be taken by a social group working in the constituency. The group should file a case against the elected representative and if proved right the representative shall loose the post. After this no re-election just the second highest shall be declared as elected. This procedure in my opinion is not practical. In every constituency the second in line shall go to court on some pretext and win.
Therefore, filing a case also would not be practicable. Till such time a practical and foolproof solution is not found Right To Recall shall not be practicable, although desirable.
Right To Reject has not been discussed much either in hard or soft media. Anna Hazare has included this in the Lokpal Bill prepared by him and his team. This is extension of the law already in existence. Presently the procedure is lengthy and almost all do not know that adverse vote can be registered by filling of a particular form. If any one knows about it, the prescribed form is never available with the election team for a booth. To get over it, change suggested is one candidate should be added by the government at the top of the list with a name "None from Below" This candidate should be in every list for every constituency. If this candidate gets majority votes all the contestants in the list shall be debarred from contesting any election any where in India for any post for a period of 6 years.
Recently one of the election commissioners has brought out difficulty in implementing this provision. The reason specified is 'Frequent election and increase in election expenditure' It must be understood that provision of "6 years loyalty and banning contesting any election anywhere in India for a period of 6 years" shall prove to be a deterrent to politicians and they shall be careful in contesting elections should not be ignored. Further present practice of limiting candidate's expenditure is no at all result oriented. Apart from loopholes it must be understood that whatever a candidate spends is never from own pocket but from the illegal money likely to be collected after getting elected. Hence, propaganda expenditure must be borne by the government. This expenditure shall be much less than spent by candidates and this would open chances for better and selfless candidates. Considering this objection raised by the commissioner doesn't stand. Therefore, 'Right To Reject' is a practical solution and shall improve political representative of the people. Go back to->

Changes needed in Democratic System in India

1 comment:

kmoksha said...

What procedure is described in the post is incorrect. Posting here full procedure of RTR-lokpal , to be added to the lokpal bill-

Section - RTRLC : Right to Recall Lokpal Chairperson

clause-1 [General Declaration] . The word citizen would mean a
registered voter.

clause-2 [Procedure for Collector] If a citizen of India above 30 years wishes to be LokPal, he can appear before Collector. Collector would issue a serial number for a filing fee same as deposit amount for MP election.

clause-3 [Procedure for Talati , Patwari (or Talati’s Clerks)] If a citizen comes in person to Talati’s office, pays Rs 3 fee , and approves at most five persons for the Lokpal Chairperson position, the
Talati would enter his approvals in the computer and would him a receipt with his voter-id#, date/time and the persons he approved. The fee shall be Rs 1 for those with BPL card.
Clause-3A- If a the citizen comes to cancel his Approvals, the Talati will cancel one of more of his approvals without any fee.

clause-4 [Procedure for Talati , Patwari (or Talati’s Clerks)] The Talati will put the preferences of the citizen on Lokpal's website with citizen’s voter-ID number and his preferences.

clause-5 [Procedure for Secretary of Lokpal] On every Monday, the Secretary will publish Approval counts for each candidate.

clause-6 [Procedure for Lokpal] If any candidate has obtained more than 38 crore approvals and is 1 crore more than approvals obtained by existing Lokpal, then Lokpal may resign and may request PM to appoint the most approved candidate as Lokpal.


The Right to Recall Lokpal clauses can be also used to retain a Lokpal, if Lokpal is honest and a dishonest SC-Cj removes him. In such case, citizens can file approval for that honest ex-Lokpal and make him Lokpal again.

And I will repeat, in case Right to Recall Lokpal Chairman is too much for others to accept, then IMO, we should settle for Right to Recall any one member, called as Citizen's Member in Lokpal

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