Friday, June 14, 2024

Draft Lokpal bill ready


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New Delhi: The Parliamentary Standing Committee examining the Lokpal bill finalised its draft report on Wednesday amidst increased dissent from members, including those of the Congress, over various provisions but Anna Hazare rejected the proposed legislation as unlikely to check corruption.

Panel chairman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the report, carrying dissent notes, is likely to be presented in Parliament on Friday.

“We have adopted the draft report. It is likely to be presented to parliament Friday,” Singhvi told IANS, adding that the final report will comprise the points of dissent.

Singhvi said the panel examined around 25 issues and agreed on most of them. “But there are differences on some issues,” he said.

Sources said of around 15 dissent notes on various issues, most relate to exclusion of around 57 lakh Group C staff, the largest chunk of government employees, from the Lokpal’s ambit.

While members from the BJP, Left parties and the Samajwadi Party have already submitted their dissent notes over the point, three Congress members — Deepa Dasmunsi, PT Thomas and Meenakshi Natrajan — joined them on Wednesday.

The three Congress members also want the Chief Vigilance Commissioner under the Lokpal.

Another contentious issue was whether the prime minister should come under the purview of the ombudsman.

Opposing constitutional status for the Lokpal, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav demanded reservation for Dalits, backward castes and the minorities in all the panels under the Lokpal.

The BJP and the Left parties have also given dissent notes on this issue as well as on the absence of a citizen’s charter and the manner of appointing the Central Bureau of Investigation chief.

Sources said the draft has also recommended bringing corporates, media and NGOs within the Lokpal’s ambit.

However, the response from the Anna hazare camp was not favourable.

Hazare said it seemed that the government is not committed to a strong Lokpal bill.

“The government is not serious about fighting corruption,” Hazare told reporters at his village, Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra. (IANS)


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