INTRO MOOT COURT COMPETITION 2013
SWAMI BHAGWANDEV V. UNION OF WISTERIA
1. Wisteria is a thriving multicultural democracy with a parliamentary form of government and a written constitution. The sixty-year old nation was facing an unprecedented governance crisis, owing to the widespread corruption which pervaded state activity at almost all levels. Recently, there were serious allegations that the union agriculture minister and the railway minister had misappropriated large sums of money from the public exchequer. 2. Opposition parties, the media and NGOs called for the enactment of a new law to curb corruption. In this climate, social activist Rahul Limaye decided to stage a ‘hunger strike’ until the Central Government agreed to introduce in Parliament and pass what came to be known as the ‘Anti-Corruption Ombudsman Bill’: a law which would put in place an ombudsman like body to establish an anti-corruption grievance redressal system. Swami Bhagwandev, a spiritual leader renowned for his teachings in yoga, also decided to join Limaye’s movement against corruption and participated in the hunger strike. 3. With public pressure mounting on the Central Government, the Anti-Corruption Ombudsman Act, 2011 was passed by Parliament without much debate or discussion. The Act provided that an independent body, known as the AntiCorruption Ombudsman, would be formed primarily to tackle complaints dealing with corruption of public servants. The body was to be elected by a special selection committee consisting of the Prime Minister of Wisteria, the Leader of
Opposition in the Lower House of Parliament, judges of the High Courts and Supreme Court and the outgoing members of the Anti-Corruption Ombudsman itself (after the first selection process). On receiving a complaint and conducting a preliminary investigation, the Anti-Corruption Ombudsman was empowered to: (i) initiate prosecution against public servants or private individuals or corporations allegedly involved in...