Monday, August 29, 2011

Indian Jan Lokpal Should Be Technology Driven

One of the major problems with the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill of India 2011 is that all the stakeholders are considering it to be another “Traditional Authority”. They are not willing to accept that the Jan Lokpal Authority of India can be Technology Literate and can handle the challenges of present Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

I believe that in today’s era, Technology is the Best Whistleblower and a Jan Lokpal Authority or Law that does not believe in this “Technological Use” is bound to be another Authority with practically little benefits and uses. That is why a Strong and Effective Whistleblowers Protection Law in India is urgently required.

In the past, I have been maintaining that the present Jan Lokpal Bill of India 2011 is not Strong and Effective as it failed to cover many crucial issues. I still maintain that viewpoint, though People may differ. But I think, this viewpoint of mine must be elaborated further.

But before doing so I wish to express my joy with the “Satisfactory Managing” of the Jan Lokpal Fiasco by our Parliamentarians who have showed great Courage and Respect for Indian Constitution by referring the matter to Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC).

Since the issues of Legal Framework for Whistleblowers Protection and Judges Accountability have already been referred to the PSC, I would not discuss those issues here. Sufficient is to say that both Laws are “Absolutely Essential” for the successful applicability of proposed Jan Lokpal Law of India.

However, I would like to discuss the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related issues of Jan Lokpal Law that has been received with much Skepticism and Doubt. To start with, I firmly believe that proposed Jan Lokpal Bill and the corresponding Jan Lokpal Authority must be Techno Legal in nature. Both the Law and Authority must be capable of dealing with both Technical and Legal Issues Simultaneously and on its own.

The “Onus and Responsibilities” of the Jan Lokpal Law and Authority would be enormous so the Jan Lokpal Authority to be constituted must have a “Techno Legal Composition”. Experts from both Technical and Legal Fields must be part of this Authority, with preference to Techno Legal Experts who can do justice to this position.

Surprisingly, as I said before, a majority of People believe that Lokpal has nothing to do with Technology. This is a wrong conception as Lokpal must be Tech Savvy and Technology Driven.

A Lokpal Authority would be better equipped if it can understand Techno Legal issues. For instance, if a Scam or Corrupt Practice has occurred in the field of E-Procurement, E-Banking, Electronic Services Delivery, etc, the Jan Lokpal Authority would not be able to solve it unless it receives help of “External” Techno Legal Experts. So the composition of the proposed Jan Lokpal Authority must be Techno Legal in nature.

Further, if we confine the Applicability and Scope of Jan Lokpal Law to “Non Technical” and “Traditional Issues alone”, Frauds, Scams and Corrupt Practices in the fields like E-Procurement, E-Banking, Electronic Services Delivery, etc, would remain “Untouched” and beyond the Scrutiny of Jan Lokpal Law. This is a serious “Lacuna” especially when India is adopting E-Governance for Public Services Delivery.

So all those who believe that Techno Legal Aspects must be keep out of the ambit of proposed Jan Lokpal Law, they need to rethink again as their approach is limiting the Scope and Applicability of the proposed Jan Lokpal Law.

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