Lokpall Bill passy by Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha to take up legislation today
New Delhi: The landmark Lokpal Bill was on Tuesday passed by the Rajya Sabha, marking a step closer to enactment of a new law under which an anti-corruption ombudsman would be set up.
The proposed law, aimed at dealing with the menace of corruption, will bring under its purview the Prime Minister with certain safeguards and other public servants.
The Bill, which was already passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2011, will now be considered by the Lower House afresh on Wednesday as it has undergone a number of official amendments.
The Bill was brought back to the Upper House after being considered by the Parliamentary Select Committee which recommended several amendments to make it widely acceptable among political parties.
Among the amendments accepted by the government are delinking of the mandatory creation of Lokayuktas by the state governments, one of the provisions which had stalled the passage of the Bill in December 2011.
Replying to the debate, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said it was a “historic” day and hoped that all states would pass similar legislations to set up Lokayuktas modelled on this Bill.
“The Centre can’t give directions to the states,” he said, allaying apprehensions that the Union government was dictating.
Sibal, who had initiated discussion on the issue, said the law alone would not eliminate corruption but it could help deal with those who are corrupt.
On the issue of bringing the Prime Minister under the purview of the new law, he said the overall consensus was in this favour although there were some “discordant individual views” disfavouring it.
Government accepted all but three recommendations of the Select Committee.
The accepted recommendations included not transferring a CBI official investigating a case referred by the Lokpal.
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