Swami Agnivesh is out. Arvind Kejriwal is under fire reportedly for jumping the bond he signed for availing of leave from government service. Kiran Bedi faces flak for submitting travel bills that did not correctly reflect the expenses she had incurred. Prashant Bhushan also faces allegations and criticism for his comments on Kashmir. Santosh Hegde has said that he is part of Team Anna only for the purpose of fighting corruption, which could imply that if members of the Team take up other causes, he may not stay on.
At this rate, will anything be left of Team Anna by the time parliament is done with processing the Lok Pal Bill? If not, I suppose it will be left to parliament to decide by itself the content of the Bill. That may result in a Lok Pal that is not the omnipotent authority that Team Anna envisages but one that focuses on politicians and the upper bureaucracy. It may also result in some procedures being put in place for referral of corruption charges to the Lok Pal, instead of anybody having the right to file complaints.
These will be entirely desirable outcomes, in my view. It does not cease to amaze me that the Jan Lok Pal Bill, drafted by Team Anna, managed to garner so much support from the public and the media. That version is certain to result in a bureaucratic nightmare, an authority with staff running into thousands that will watch over the rest of the bureaucracy as well as politicians. This can only lead to paralysis of all decision making, signs of which we can see already. One of the most common complaints about the CVC is that it renders decisions in PSUs slow, that it comes in the way of risk-taking and commercial decisions. If the CVC could have this effect, what should one expect of the more fearsome Lok Pal?
Governance- or accountability- is desirable. But it should not come in the way of governing. Decision makers must be judged, in general, by the totality of decisions they take, not by putting every single decision of theirs under the scanner. With an omnipotent Lok Pal, the latter is what we must expect, with all its deleterious consequences.