The inheritability of power

Is the exclusion of the PM of India from the purview of the Jan Lokpal Bill not justifiable? I don’t think so. Irrespective of the other exclusions, including information which may interfere with the national sovereignty, the competitive positions of parties engaging in trade that conforms with the principles of a free market, and with ongoing investigations and/or the associated procedures, the arms that serve to enforce the law and monitor for its breach by those who live under the purvey of the law must remain independent of the body, or the member thereof, that is capable to amending those laws. Given even the democratic nature of proceedings in the Indian Parliament—wherefore a majority decision must be secured to enact any policy—the theoretical argument must needs manifest in practice so as to ensure a “smooth running” of the governmental body.

(While one may posit that the judiciary falls under the purview of the Right to Information Act 2005, it must be noted that not all information therewith is disclosable: according to the Act itself, “The following is exempt from disclosure […] Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offense; information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court; information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.”)

However, an agreement is reached with those who argue for the inclusion of the PMO in the jurisdiction of the Jan Lokpal Bill by establishing that the PM’s exclusion does not mean that he/she is free to do as he/she pleases: on the contrary, given the Bill’s symbolic representation of the leader’s accountability to his/her people, a representative committee—as decreed by the lower house of the Parliament—could be elected to prevent a misuse of the most powerful office in the nation. While such a selective stratification may seem to restrict the liberties of the citizens and limit the exercising of their powers to through the act of voting, it is also necessary that the extension of their jurisdiction all the way to the PMO is detrimental to the nation’s overall functioning.

While the qualified body of voters have the power to elect the occupants of the Lok Sabha, the PM is elected by the political party that, post-elections, possesses the majority; in my opinion, the exclusion of the procedure for the people to directly elect the PM is the political permit that holds the election only of a group that is representative of an ideology, truncating thereby a provision for the electoral polls to be a decision-making process wherein individual judgment is allowed for. In a similar way, direct accountability of the PM is allowable only to the people who possess both public accountability as well as public power (i.e., whose jurisdiction occupies some part of both circles).

A corollary presents itself in that, since the election of the PM is not directed by the electorate, the right to question his/her judgment rests with the party he belongs to—the party that elected him/her. However, this does not entail the conclusion that those engaged in non-electoral politics find immediate exclusivity from the Jan Lokpal Bill, as exemplified by the members of the Rajya Sabha.

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