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DRAFT CONSTITUTION – THE SWARAJ ABHIYAN – Full text and a Satement of Prasahant Bhushan on SA C.

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DRAFT CONSTITUTION OF THE SWARAJ ABHIYAN 

http://www.swarajabhiyan.org/content/news/21 vist link on SA web site too.

 
ARTICLE I: NAME OF THE ORGANISATION
The name of the Organization will be SWARAJ ABHIYAN (hereinafter referred to as “the Abhiyan”).
Provided, that save for the purposes of opening of Bank Accounts, the words “Swaraj Abhiyan” may be used in their grammatical and linguistic variations and cognate expressions by State Working Committees with the consent of the National Working Committee.
ARTICLE II: MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION OF THE ABHIYAN
 
A. The Abhiyan seeks to realize the ideal of Swaraj or self-rule which implies freedom from all forms of dominance and freedom for self-realization in all spheres of life. Specifically, Swaraj includes:
i. Participatory democracy with decentralization of power;
ii. Equitable and sustainable access to well-being for all;
iii. Harmonious co-living across all communities, sans any violence or discrimination;
iv. Knowledge and culture anchored in our traditions and willing to embrace the world of today and tomorrow;
v. Global order based on equity and fraternity among countries, races, gender, caste and religions as also between humans and nature
B. In order to realize this ideal, the Abhiyan seeks to strengthen and deepen alternative politics in the country that would restore power to the people and alter the existing balance of power in favour of the last person. Specifically, practice of alternative politics would include:
i. Using legitimate constitutional means to launch agitations, struggles and movements to achieve a just society
ii. Carrying out constructive work for social reform and nation building in various fields such as education, health, farming, handicrafts, labour, cooperatives etc.
iii. Engaging in generation of new ideas, policies, models suited for the challenges of our times and future of India and humankind
iv. Working towards character building, especially for the youth, so that human beings can be in touch with and in harmony with their inner selves and other human being cutting across barriers of age, gender, caste, class, race, locality or nationality
v. Intervening in democratic politics and governance so as to make it more participative, transparent and accountable to the people
C. The activities of the Abhiyan will be carried out in accordance with its own principles of swaraj. Specifically, it would be guided by the following values:
i. Transparency in its functioning
ii. Participatory democracy wherein the voice of every member is respected
iii. Democratic decision making that respects the voice of dissent
iv. Collective leadership that avoids personality cult of any kind
v. Decentralisation of power, so that higher levels of organisations take only those decisions that cannot be taken at grassroots level
vi. Social diversity, especially giving due representation to those social groups such as women, SC, ST, OBC and minorities who have suffered political under-representation
vii. Truthfulness and upholding highest standards of integrity in public life
viii. Liberty and Justice for all
ix. The Abhiyan will not in any manner promote or instigate or participate in violence.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP OF THE ABHIYAN 
 
A. ELIGIBILITY
Membership of the Abhiyan, subject to other clauses of this Article, is open to any person without discrimination as to age, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation, who agrees with its objectives and principles and who:
i. is a citizen of India and above 18 years of age
ii. is not a member of any organization whose views, objectives, policies or actions are inconsistent with the underlying objective and founding principles of the Abhiyan;
iii. has not been convicted of any criminal offence punishable by more than 5 years in prison by a competent court or of any financial misappropriation.
B. MEMBERSHIP PROCESS
i. An eligible individual will, on the submission of an application and declaration along with membership fee as may be prescribed from time to time become a member of the Abhiyan unless rejected by the Unit/Working Committee functioning in the area in which he or she applies. Provided that members shall not vote on any matter within the Abhiyan until completion of a probationary period of 4 months
ii. If a membership application is denied by the local Unit/Working Committee, it may be appealed to the next higher working committee of the Abhiyan. The Working Committee may, if it deems fit appoint one or more of its members to decide such cases.
C. TERM
The term of membership, subject to renewal, termination or resignation, will be 1 year.
Provided that for the purpose of this clause, a year will be taken as the period commencing from 1st of April of a calendar year to the 31st of March of the succeeding year.
Provided further that for the first year of membership, a year will be taken as the period commencing from the date of membership up to the following 31st of March.
Provided further that the Abhiyan will send a reminder to all members whose membership is due for renewal. Members will have a grace period of three months on receipt of such reminder to renew their membership failing which their membership will lapse. However, in case no reminder has been sent, the grace period will be 6 months.
D. CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP 
 
A person will cease to be a member of the Abhiyan in the following events:
a. Death
b. Resignation
 c. Termination
d. Non-renewal of the Membership during grace period
E. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A person’s membership will stand terminated if
a. an order to the effect is passed by a competent disciplinary committee provided that no such finding may be recorded without hearing the person
b. he/she is convicted of a criminal offence punishable by more than 5 years in prison by a competent court or of any financial misappropriation.
F. SUSPENSION OF MEMBERSHIP
A person’s membership may be suspended by a competent Disciplinary Committee on the basis of prima facie findings in disciplinary proceedings as per the provisions of this Constitution.
G. AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP TO ORGANIZATIONS
 
i. Organizations with aims and objectives aligned to those of the Abhiyan may be admitted to affiliate status with the Abhiyan by the Working Committees at appropriate levels.
 ii. On such affiliation, members of the affiliate organization shall become associate members without voting rights in the Abhiyan.
iii. Representatives of organizations admitted to affiliate status may be admitted to the concerned Working Committees as invitees.
ARTICLE IV: ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE 
 
A. ORGANS OF THE ABHIYAN
a. The Abhiyan will be structured at the National, State, District and Block levels with organs at respective levels being,
i. Block Level:
Block Unit
ii. District Level
District Working Committee
iii. State Level
State Steering Committee
State Working Committee
iv. National Level
National Steering Committee
National Working Committee
Provided, that the National Working Committee of the Abhiyan may sub-divide a state into two or more regions for functional or administrative convenience by constituting regional steering and working committees for each such region of the state. The provisions of this constitution applicable to state level committees will apply to such regional committees, mutatis mutandis and there will then be no state level committees in that state.
Provided further that the Abhiyan may be organized at Taluka, Tehsil, Mandal, or other administrative level suitable for that state instead of at the block level as deemed fit by the concerned state working committee. Powers and functions of such units will be identical to those specified for Block units in this constitution.
Provided further that State Working Committees may constitute separate units of the Abhiyan to operate within geographical boundaries of towns and cities and these units will be at the Block level or at district level as decided by that State Working Committee.
b. Areas of District Units will ordinarily be the same as those of respective Administrative Districts in the State. Areas of State Units of the Abhiyan will conform to the States and Union Territories mentioned in the Constitution of India. If a state has been subdivided into Regions, boundaries of each Region will be as prescribed by the National Working Committee.
B. BLOCK LEVEL:
Block Unit
a. The Block Unit will be the General Body of all members of that Unit. It will:
i. deliberate and decide on any issue or action program to further the objectives of the Abhiyan;
ii. scrutinize applications for membership where it deems necessary;
iii. elect 1 Convener and 1 Joint Convener (of which at least one must be a woman) in blocks with not less than 50 members by consensus, failing which, it will be done through elections. The Convener and Joint Convener will be available to work for the Abhiyan on a regular basis.
iv. form such teams as required and assign them such work as deemed fit,
v. reconstitute any team or committee,
vi. recall Convener or Joint Convener,
vii. perform such tasks as assigned to it by the District unit from time to time for the purposes of the Abhiyan, viii. If there are not less one hundred members in a block unit, a Working Committee will be elected for that Block whose structure, powers and functions will be, as far as may be on the lines of District Working Committees.
C. DISTRICT LEVEL
a. District Working Committee:
i. There will be elected a District Working Committee by all the members of that district, if the number of such members is not less than hundred.
ii. The District Working Committee will comprise of 10 members, which shall include at least 2 women and 1 student/youth (upto 35 years of age). Provided that if no candidate from any of these groups files his/her nomination for election, the corresponding seat will be kept vacant. Such vacant seats will be filled through bye-elections to be held at such time and in such manner as prescribed.
iii. The members referred to in sub-clause (ii) above will elect one person from among themselves as the District Convener.
iv. If the Convener, Joint Convener or Working Committee member of any Block Unit is elected to the District Working Committee, he/she will resign from the position of Convener, Joint Convener or Block Working Committee member as the case may be, immediately.
v. The District Working Committee may co-opt persons who are eminent individuals, experts from such fields as the National Working Committee deems fit, or persons from SC, ST, OBC, Physically Challenged or disadvantaged Religious Minority communities. The total number of co-opted members shall not exceed 25% of the current elected strength of the Committee.
vi. Subject to the limitation of sub-clause iii of this clause, co-opted members will have all the rights of elected members of the District Working Committee.
vii. The District Working Committee may invite anyone from within or outside the Abhiyan to attend its meetings as a ‘Special Invitee’ for one or more meetings. Such Special Invitees may participate in discussions but will not enjoy any voting rights.
viii. A District Working Committee may, if there are hundred or more members in any Village/s, Municipal Ward, or other delineated area below block level, constitute a separate unit for that area. The provisions for Block level units will apply to such sub-divisional units mutatis mutandis.
b. Powers and Functions of District Working Committee
The District Working Committee will:
i. form as many teams as are required to carry out the objectives of the Abhiyan
ii. elect a Secretary and a Treasurer for the District from among its members
iii. appoint one or more Abhiyan members from the District as Spokespersons authorized to communicate the official Abhiyan position on any subject to the public and media. Spokespersons who are not themselves members of the District Working Committee shall be invited to attend all District Working Committee meetings as ‘special invitees’.
iv. appoint one or more Abhiyan members from the District as electronic media panelists authorized to represent the Abhiyan in media debates and discussions.
v. monitor and supervise the activities of functionaries of the Abhiyan in that District
vi. undertake all such activities as are needed to meet the objectives of the Abhiyan in that District
vii. undertake activities related to public issues affecting that District
viii. maintain the Register of Members of the Abhiyan of that District
ix. maintain accounts of District Level Finances
x. form District Level Committees for settling internal disputes, grievances and disciplinary actions, and for deciding complaints against block level functionaries. However District or Block level office bearers of the Abhiyan will not be members of such Committees.
xi. reconstitute any team or committee
xii. recall District Convener, Secretary or Treasurer by an absolute majority of total members
D. STATE LEVEL (This will apply to Union territories also):
 
a. State Steering Committee
A State Steering Committee will be convened in each state or Union Territory where elected Working Committees are present in one-third or more Districts and will consist of
i. Delegates nominated by the District Working Committee equal in number to the number of assembly constituencies in the District in all Districts with elected District Working Committees
ii. Delegates nominated by the District Working Committee equal in number to one fourth of the number of assembly constituencies in the District in all Districts without elected District Working Committees
Provided that there will be at least one delegate from every District.
Provided further that assembly constituencies lying across District boundaries will be assigned to the District contributing the most area for purposes of this clause
In addition, it may co-opt a maximum of 25% of its non-co-opted strength from amongst the following:
i. experts from such fields as the National Steering Committee deems fit
ii. eminent individuals from any field in the country
iii. members of disadvantaged social groups, such as women, SC, ST, OBC, Physically Handicapped and disadvantaged religious minorities if there is inadequate representation of such groups
b. Functions and Powers of the State Steering Committee:
i. The State Steering Committee will elect the State Working Committee from among Abhiyan members in that State. Provided that if a State Steering Committee has not been convened for a State within 9 months of the formation of the Abhiyan, a state working committee of 20 members will be directly elected by all Abhiyan members of that state in such manner as prescribed by the National Working Committee.
ii. The State Steering Committee will have the power to recall the members of the State Working Committee.
iii. It will decide the stand and policy of the Abhiyan on issues concerning that state in such manner as may be prescribed.
c. State Working Committee:
Each State Working Committee will organize and coordinate the activities of the Abhiyan at the State Level.
i. The State Working Committee will consist of not less than 15 and not more than 25 members, of which at least one fourth shall be women, and one tenth shall be students/youth (18 to 35 years of age).
Provided that if no candidate from any of these groups files his/her nomination for election, the corresponding seat will be kept vacant. Such vacant seats shall be filled through bye-elections to be held at such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.
Provided further that the National Working Committee may in consultation with respective State Working Committees additionally fix the number or proportion of seats mentioned in this clause to be reserved in each State Working Committee for candidates belonging to SC, ST, OBC, physically handicapped and disadvantaged religious minority communities.
ii. The members referred to in sub-clause (i) above will elect one person from amongst themselves as the State Convener.
iii. If the Convener or Joint Convener of any Block Unit or a member of any District or Block Working Committee is elected to the State Working Committee, he/she will resign from the position of Convener, Joint Convener or District or Block Working Committee member as the case may be, immediately.
iv. The State Working Committee may co-opt persons who are eminent individuals, experts from such fields as the National Working Committee deems fit, or persons from SC, ST, OBC, Physically Challenged or disadvantaged Religious Minority communities. The total number of co-opted members shall not exceed 25% of the current elected strength of the Committee.
v. The State Working Committee may invite anyone from within or outside the Abhiyan to attend its meetings as a ‘Special Invitee’ for one or more meetings. However, Special Invitees will not enjoy any voting rights.
d. Functions and Powers of State Working Committee:
The State Working Committee will:
i. form as many teams as required to carry out the objectives of the Abhiyan
ii. elect the Secretary and Treasurer for that State
iii. appoint one or more Abhiyan members from the State as Spokespersons authorized to communicate the official Abhiyan position on any subject to the public and media. Spokespersons who are not themselves members of the State Working Committee shall be invited to attend all State Working Committee meetings as ‘special invitees’.
iv. appoint one or more Abhiyan members from the State as electronic media panelists authorized to represent the Abhiyan in media debates and discussions
v. monitor and supervise the activities of Abhiyan functionaries in that State.
vi. undertake all such activities as are needed to meet the objectives of the Abhiyan in that State
vii. undertake various activities related to public issues affecting that State
viii. maintain and keep accounts of State Level Finances
ix. form State Level Committees for settling internal disputes, grievances and disciplinary actions, and for deciding complaints against district level functionaries. However, Spokespersons, media Panelists and State level office bearers of the Abhiyan will not be members of such Committees. viii. set up the first State Level Abhiyan Lokayukta
x. reconstitute any team or committee
xi. recall State Convener, Secretary or Treasurer by an absolute majority of total members E.
NATIONAL LEVEL:
a. National Steering Committee
The National Steering Committee will be the highest policy making body of the Abhiyan.
An elected National Steering Committee will be constituted as soon as elected Steering and Working Committees have been constituted in one-third or more States and Union Territories of the country. The National Steering Committee will comprise of
i. Delegates nominated by the State Working Committee equal in number to the number of parliamentary constituencies in that State in all States with elected State Steering Committees
ii. Delegates nominated by the State Working Committee equal in number to one fourth of the number of parliamentary constituencies in the State in all States without elected State Steering Committees
Provided that there will be at least one delegate from every State. In addition, it may co-opt up to 20% of the number of state delegates from among the following:
i. experts from such fields as the National Steering Committee deems fit
ii. eminent individuals from any field in the country
iii. members of disadvantaged social groups, such as women, SC, ST, OBC, Physically Handicapped and disadvantaged religious minorities if there is inadequate representation of such groups
b. Functions and Powers of the National Steering Committee:
The National Steering Committee will
i. elect the National Working Committee from among all Abhiyan members in the country
ii. have the power to recall members of the National Working Committee
iii. have the power to amend this Constitution
iv. decide the stand and policy of the Abhiyan on issues of National interest
c. National Working Committee:
The National Working Committee will be the highest Working body of the Abhiyan. It will organize and coordinate activities of the Abhiyan at the National Level.
i. The National Working Committee will consist of not less than 20 and not more than 30 members, of which at least one fourth shall be women, and one tenth shall be students/youth (18 to 35 years of age).
Provided that if no candidate from these groups files his/her nomination for election, the corresponding seat will be kept vacant. Such vacant seats shall be filled through bye-elections to be held at such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.
ii. The members referred to in sub-clause (i) above will elect one person from amongst themselves as the National Convener
iii. If the Convener or Joint Convener of any Block Unit or a member of any Block, District or State Working Committee is elected to the National Working Committee, he/she will resign from the position of Convener, Joint Convener or Block, District or State Working Committee member as the case may be, immediately.
iv. The National Working Committee may co-opt persons who are eminent individuals, experts from such fields as the National Working Committee deems fit, or persons from SC, ST, OBC, Physically Challenged or disadvantaged Religious Minority communities. The total number of co-opted members shall not exceed 25% of the current elected strength of the Committee.
v. Subject to the limitation of sub-clause ii. of this clause, co-opted members will have all the rights of elected members of the Working Committee.
vi. The National Working Committee may invite anyone from within or outside the Abhiyan to attend its meetings as a ‘Special Invitee’ for one or more meetings. However, Special Invitees will not enjoy any voting rights
d. Powers and Functions of the National Working Committee
The National Working Committee will:
i. form as many teams as are required to carry out the objectives of the Abhiyan.
ii. Elect the National Secretary and National Treasurer
iii. appoint one or more Abhiyan members as Spokespersons authorized to communicate the official Abhiyan position on any subject to the public and media. Spokespersons who are not themselves members of the National Working Committee shall be invited to attend all National Working Committee meetings as ‘special invitees’.
iv. appoint one or more Abhiyan members as electronic media panelists authorized to represent the Abhiyan in media debates and discussions
v. monitor and supervise the activities of Abhiyan functionaries at various levels in the country
vi. undertake all such activities as are needed to meet the objectives of the Abhiyan in the country
vii. undertake various activities related to public issues viii. maintain and keep accounts of National Level Finances
viii. form National Level Committees for settling internal disputes, grievances and disciplinary actions. However office bearers of the Abhiyan will not be members of such Committees.
ix. set up the first National Level Lokpal
x. reconstitute any team or committee
xi. recall National Convener, Secretary or Treasurer by an absolute majority of total members xii. make rules and regulations under this Constitution
F. NRI LEVEL 
i. The Abhiyan, for the purposes of NRIs, will be divided into City, Country and Global Level.
ii. The provisions of this Article relating to the Block, District and State Level will apply mutatis mutandis to the City, Country and Global Level respectively.
G. TERM OF MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES
The term of office of every Steering and Working Committee member shall be three years, subject to maintaining the currency of their Abhiyan membership
H. FUNCTIONAL AUTONOMY AT EACH LEVEL
Every Unit/Steering/Working Committee will have functional autonomy with respect to issues at the level of and arising from the area for which it is constituted.
Provided further that National level Committees of the Abhiyan may intercede on issues concerning more than one state or if there are significant and persistent differences between regions or groups within a state.
Provided further that a decision of a Unit/Steering/Working committee which is inconsistent with the objectives or principles of the Abhiyan may be overruled by a Steering or Working committee at a higher level.
I. ADVISORY COMMITTEES
i. Working Committees at District, State and National levels of the Abhiyan shall appoint Advisory Committees comprising of eminent citizens drawn from various fields to review activities and progress of the Abhiyan and to offer non-binding advice regarding the same, either on suo-moto basis, by reference of the concerned Working Committee, or on the application of any member in that area. Working Committees shall be bound to consider such advice and to deliberate the same on record. Opinions and Advise of such Advisory Committees will be put in the public domain, regardless of whether the concerned Working Committee has taken a contrary view or decision.
ii. The composition, terms of office, meeting frequency and procedures, etc. of such advisory committees will be as prescribed.
J. INITIAL (PROMOTER) STRUCTURE OF THE ABHIYAN
i. There will be a Steering Committee at the National level which will function until elections take place at different levels as per the provisions of this Constitution.
ii. This National Steering Committee will consist of all those individuals, who have subscribed to the Memorandum of Association provided for in Article II of this Constitution at the time of the Abhiyan’s formation. Provided that the Steering Committee may co-opt other eminent Abhiyan members at its second regular meeting.
iii. Steering Committee at the National level will elect a National Working Committee
iv. Subject to ratification of the National Steering Committee, the National Working Committee will in turn constitute State Working Committees in each state and union territory from among Abhiyan members of that State/UT.
v. A Working Committee for a State constituted as per the preceding sub-clause will further constitute Working Committees for each District within that state from Abhiyan members of that District, in such manner as may be prescribed
vi. All Committees constituted under this clause will function until replaced by Unit/Steering/Working committees elected in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. vii. Subject to the above, the powers and functions of Steering and Working Committees defined in this clause will be identical to the powers and functions of respective Steering and Working Committees defined in clauses A through F of this Article.
K. SOCIAL DIVERSITY IN ABHIYAN ORGANS
Swaraj Abhiyan shall strive to achieve social diversity within the leadership and will make special efforts to have adequate representation of marginalized and under-represented social groups.
i. Every effort shall be made to have at least one-third number of women in every committee at all levels of the Abhiyan. It shall be mandatory to have at least one-fourth number of women in the effective strength of any committee. In case these many women are not available, the shortfall will be left vacant.
ii. At least one-tenth of all the members of all the Committees at every level shall be filled by filled by youth aged between 18 yrs and 35 yrs.
iii. Every effort shall be made to give due representation to under-represented social groups such as SC, ST, OBC, and disadvantaged minorities. National and State Working Committees may prescribe a minimum number or proportion for any or all of such social groups.
iv. It shall be mandatory to report the social breakup of each committee by number of women, youth, SC, ST, minorities, or any other prescribed category.
ARTICLE V: OFFICE BEARERS OF THE ABHIYAN
i. The office bearers of the Abhiyan at respective levels will be:
a. Block Level
i. Convener and Joint Convener
ii. Such other Office Bearers as may be prescribed
b. District Level
i. District Convener
ii. District Treasurer
iii. District Secretary iv. Such other Office Bearers as may be prescribed
c. State Level
i. State Convener
ii. State Treasurer
iii. State Secretary
iv. Such other Office Bearers as may be prescribed
d. National Level
i. National Convener
ii. National Treasurer
iii. National Secretary
iv. Such other Office Bearers as may be prescribed
e. Functional divisions at each Level Working committees at every level will establish    functional divisions as prescribed, to meet the aims and objectives of the Abhiyan
 
ii. POWERS & FUNCTIONS OF OFFICE BEARERS
a. Convener
The Convener will be in charge of functioning of the Abhiyan at the concerned Level
b. Convener/Joint Convener at the Block Level and Convener at the District/ State/ National Level will
i. facilitate and organize meetings of the Unit
ii. implement and execute decisions of the Abhiyan and carry out all such work as assigned from time to time
c. Secretary
The Secretary will be responsible for
i. managing the day to day affairs of the Secretariat at the concerned Level
ii. maintaining records and maintaining minutes of the meetings at the concerned level
iii. carrying out all such work as given to him/her by the Abhiyan from time to time
iv. Secretary at National level will represent Abhiyan for all legal purposes
d. Treasurer
The Treasurer will be responsible for
i. maintaining accounts at the concerned Level, ensuring adequate supervision and training of Treasurers at lower levels, combining and collating accounts from lower levels with own level and ensuring that they are duly reported every quarter
ii. following all guidelines and instructions issued from time to time with respect to maintenance of accounts etc.
e. National Treasurer
The National Treasurer additionally will
i. ensure that Accounts of the Abhiyan are properly maintained and are audited by an independent Auditor
ii. ensure that all statutory compliances regarding accounts and funds of the Abhiyan are duly completed
 
iii. TERM OF OFFICE OF OFFICE BEARERS
Term of office of all office bearers will ordinarily be three years, subject to maintaining the currency of their membership status for the duration of their term. Working Committee members should ordinarily make themselves available for Abhiyan work for at least 10 hrs/week on average.
No member will hold the same post as an office bearer for more than two terms of three years each.
D. RESTRICTIONS ON HOLDING POSITIONS WITHIN THE ABHIYAN
i. No member of a Working Committees of the Abhiyan at any level or Block Convener or Jt Convener may be a member of any other Working Committee or serve as Convener or Jt Convener of in a different unit.
ii. No Block Convener, Jt Converner, or member of a Working Committee of the Abhiyan can be a part of any Disciplinary Committee of the Abhiyan
iii. No family member (spouse, child, parent or sibling) of any Block Convener, Jt Convener, or Working or Disciplinary Committee of the Abhiyan may serve as Converner, Jt Convener or on any Working or Disciplinary Committee of the Abhiyan
iv. No family member (spouse, child, parent or sibling) of any Steering Committee of the Abhiyan may serve on the same Steering Committee of the Abhiyan
Provided that there shall be no bar on any Steering, Working or Disciplinary Committee member from serving as a Spokesperson or Media Panelist of the Abhiyan or working with a functional division established as prescribed under sub-clause e of clause A of Article V of this Constitution at any level.
Provided further that members of the Lokpal or any State Lokayukta or their family members (spouse, child, parent or sibling) may not be members of any Steering or Working Committee of the Abhiyan. Provided further that no member of any political party shall hold any office, or be a spokesperson or media panelist at any level of the Abhiyan.
ARTICLE VI: CODE OF CONDUCT, DISCIPLINE AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION A. CODE OF CONDUCT 
a. Every member of the Abhiyan will abide by the following Code of Conduct:
i. A member will not engage herself in any immoral or illegal activity as would tarnish the image of the Abhiyan or such conduct as would bring disrepute to it.
ii. A member will not undertake any activity, which is contrary to the objectives of the Abhiyan as set out in this Constitution.
iii. A member will abide by the rules framed from time to time by the National Working Committee.
iv. There will be zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any form.
v. A member will not involve herself in any corrupt practices.
vi. A member may not be a part of any organization which spreads disharmony on the basis of caste, creed, religion or untouchability.
vii. A member will not engage in exploiting or ill-treating women, nor indulge in drug addiction or drunken behavior.
viii. Members will be free to express their own opinion within and outside Abhiyan fora on policy related questions. Mere expression of difference of opinion will not be considered to be a violation of the Code of Conduct unless it runs contrary to the ideals and objectives of the Abhiyan. However, it shall be the member’s responsibility to clarify that they are speaking in personal capacity and not on behalf of the Abhiyan in such circumstances.
Provided that when an Organ of the Abhiyan has taken a public position on any question through a statement or resolution, Working Committee Members, Office bearers and Spokespersons of the concerned Organ may not express contrary views in public fora.
b. Without prejudice to the generality of the above, office bearers and spokespersons, must also make an annual declaration of his/her income and assets and that of his/her family honestly and correctly to the unit/Steering/Working Committee as per the proforma of the Election Commission.
B. AUTHORITIES FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
i. The following will deal with complaints of violation of Code of Conduct against Office Bearers at various Levels: National Level :Lokpal State Level: State Lokayukta
ii. To address internal disputes, indiscipline, grievances etc., Grievance Committees will be set up at each Level from within the members by the Working Committees at each Level.
iii. The National Working Committee will frame regulations for the constitution of Disciplinary Committees and the procedures to be followed by them.
C. PENALTIES
Disciplinary action may result in penalties ranging from warning, censure, loss of voting rights for a specified period, and termination of membership from the Abhiyan. No disciplinary action may be taken against a member without giving an opportunity to that member to explain and answer the charges against him/her or without passing a reasoned order.
D. COMPOSITION, APPOINTMENT /REAPPOINTMENT AND TERM OF LOKPAL/ STATE LOKAYUKTA:
i. The Lokapal/State Lokayukta will be a body comprising of three persons, at least one of whom will be an eminent jurist/eminent person from the legal field. Other members will be eminent persons from different walks of life.
ii. The First Lokpal & State Lokayuktas will be appointed by respectively the National and State Working Committees as the case may be.
iii. The term of each Lokpal/Lokayukta member will be three years. However, in so far as the first body constituted by the National/State Working Committee is concerned, members will retire by rotation on a yearly basis starting from the end of the first year. The senior most in age will be the first to retire.
iv. Every Lokpal/Lokayukta will be eligible for reappointment for a maximum of two terms.
v. Vacancy caused by retirement/resignation/death of a Lokpal/State Lokayukta will be filled by nomination by the remaining and outgoing members of the body.
vi. Lokpal will devise their own procedure and may lay down the procedure to be followed by State Lokayuktas.
vii. Lokpal and State Lokayuktas may act on any complaint forwarded to them by a member of the Abhiyan.
viii. Lokpal and State Lokayuktas may also initiate Suo-Moto proceedings against any office bearer of the Abhiyan falling within their Jurisdiction
ARTICLE VII: CONDUCT OF BUSINESS, ACCOUNTABLITY & TRANSPARENCY A. MEETING:
i. Every meeting of the Abhiyan will be chaired by a member of that body who is not an office bearer, as elected by members present in that meeting. This meeting chairperson will ordinarily abstain from voting in the meeting, but may exercise a casting vote in case a decision is deadlocked.
ii. Members of a Block Unit will meet at least once a month
iii. Steering Committees will meet at least at the following intervals: State Level: once in four month National Level: once in six months
iv. Working Committees at various Levels will hold ordinary meetings at least, District Level: once a month State Level: once every three months National Level: once every three months
v. If required, a meeting of a Block Unit or any Steering or Working Committee may be requisitioned by 1/3rd of the members of the concerned Unit, Steering, or Working Committee
B. QUORUM
Quorum for all meetings will be one-third of the strength of the concerned body for Steering Committees and one-half of the strength for Working Committees.
There will be no requirement for a Quorum in case of Emergency or Extraordinary meetings of any Working Committee or Block Unit. However resolutions passed in such meetings will be automatically invalidated unless ratified in the next ordinary meeting of the concerned body.
C. NOTICE 
i. The notice period for Ordinary meetings of the various bodies will be as under:
Body Days
Block Level      2
District Working Committee   2
State Steering Committee   21
State Working Committee   4
National Steering Committee  21
National Working Committee   7
ii. Emergency meetings of the District/State/National Working Committee may be convened by the concerned Convener by giving such notice as deemed fit and giving reasons. The above time periods will not be applicable for such meetings.
iii. Members may attend meetings of the District/State/National Working Committee either in person or via video/teleconference.
D. DECISION MAKING 
All decisions at all Levels in any meeting will be taken by consensus, failing which by a majority vote.
Provided that, any decision to amend this constitution shall be as specified in Article IX of this constitution.
Provided that voting in any meeting will be by secret ballot if any member so desires
Provided further that if a desire for referendum on an issue is expressed by the concerned Working Committee, or through an initiative by not less than 15% of the total members in a District, or 10% of the total members in a State or in the Nation, the issue will be decided by referendum in that area, whose outcome will be final. A clear majority of all members who vote in the Referendum, including those who express a neutral opinion (NOTA) will be required for the initiative to prevail.
Provided further that the wording of any such proposed initiative will have to be approved by the concerned Working Committee prior to circulation for signatures among members
E. MINUTES AND RECORDING OF MEETINGS
i. There will be maintained minutes of all meetings of all Units/Steering/Working Committees
ii. Video of every meeting of the National Steering Committee will be recorded and maintained in such form as may be prescribed
iii. All meetings of the Abhiyan shall be conducted in accordance with Meeting Rules as prescribed by the National Working Committee
F. ACCOUNTABILITY OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEES
i. The Abhiyan will put in place an effective mechanism for rendering the office bearers and committees of the Abhiyan at all levels accountable to the members
ii. The Abhiyan will put in place a system for procuring and acting upon regular feedbacks of members and volunteers about functioning of office bearers and committees at all levels and the feedback received will be discussed with the relevant committee 
G. RECALL OF OFFICE BEARERS AND REMOVAL OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS
i. There will be a referendum on the issue of recall of an office bearer if not less than twenty percent of the members so desire and the outcome of the referendum will be final.
ii. A member of a Steering/Working Committee will stand removed as such member if not less than fifty percent of the members participating in the referendum vote for his/her removal.
H. PRO-ACTIVE PUBLIC DISCLOSURES AT ALL LEVELS
The Abhiyan will put in place measures to ensure pro-active transparency and will put the following in public domain:
i. Details of all office bearers at all levels;
ii. Details of members of units/Steering/Working committees;
iii. Details regarding policies made and decisions undertaken including outcomes of referendums at all levels.
iv. Matters relating to finance, funding, donations, expenditure, etc.
v. Feedback of volunteers and members, outcome of audit, disciplinary proceedings, etc.
vi. Any other matter, prescribed from time to time, disclosure of which is necessary to ensure pro-active transparency.
I. RIGHT TO INFORMATION 
i. There shall be Right to Information (RTI) in the Abhiyan, available to Abhiyan Members as well as the general public
ii. Each Working Committee of the Abhiyan shall appoint one or more Public Information Officers (PIO) from the members of the Abhiyan in its area tasked with implementing this Right to Information
iii. Procedures for the implementation of this RTI within the Abhiyan will be as prescribed by the National Working Committee through rules.
ARTICLE VIII: FUNDS, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT 
 
A. COLLECTION OF FUNDS
i. Funds will be collected by means of membership fee, voluntary donations, sale of materials related to the Abhiyan, cultural programs etc.
ii. Only such persons, at the district, state and national level, as are authorized by the respective Working Committee, will receive funds.
 
B. BANK ACCOUNT
i. The Abhiyan will open such number of bank accounts and at such places as considered necessary.
ii. There will be three authorized signatories for each Bank account namely the Treasurer and two persons, authorized by the respective National, State, or District Steering Committee. The account may be operated by any two of the three authorized signatories, provided the Treasurer is always one of them. National and State Treasurers will additionally exercise supervisory control over State & District level bank accounts respectively, through such procedures as may be prescribed.
iii. All receipts will first be deposited in the bank accounts of the Abhiyan before being drawn for the purpose of meeting expenses.
C. UTILISATION OF FUNDS
i. The funds received by the Abhiyan will be utilized for meeting the objectives of the Abhiyan.
ii. The funds will be utilized by the concerned Working Committee. The National Working Committee may frame regulations governing the utilization of funds.
The Accounts will be maintained on accrual basis. The Details of all donations and expenses will be made transparent and will be uploaded and duly updated on the website(s) of the Abhiyan at such frequency as may be prescribed.
E. AUDIT AND FINANCIAL REVIEW
The Abhiyan will put in place mechanisms for the conduct of annual audit and financial review of the Abhiyan.
ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
This Constitution can be amended by the National Steering Committee provided that the amendment has the approval of 2/3rd of its members present and voting after due notice to all the members. For this purpose, if a resolution for amendment bearing the signatures of at least 10% members of the National Steering Committee is received, a meeting of the National Steering Committee will be convened within 30 days thereafter to decide the same.
Provided that the approval of a simple majority of members present and voting after due notice to all the members will suffice for amending this Constitution at the second general meeting of the National Steering Committee.
Provided further that this Constitution may be amended through a referendum of all members of the Abhiyan in the Country as per clause D of Article VII of this Constitution.
Provided further that any decision to contest elections under the banner of the Abhiyan or to form a Political Party will require an amendment to this Constitution specifically enabling the same.
ARTICLE X: INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION
The decision of the National Working Committee will be final on any question of interpretation of this Constitution or the rules and regulations framed there under, unless subsequently overturned by the National Steering Committee
ARTICLE XI: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
The National Working Committee will frame regulations for filling the vacancies caused by resignation, expulsion or death of a member of a Unit/Working/Steering Committee.

One comment on “DRAFT CONSTITUTION – THE SWARAJ ABHIYAN – Full text and a Satement of Prasahant Bhushan on SA C.

  1. krishgindia
    June 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on swarajopensociety and commented:
    swarajabhiyan

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