All parties have accepted Lokpal Bill draft proposals: Chaturvedi

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 13:10 hrs

The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha select committee looking into draft proposals related to the proposed Lokpal Bill, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, on Friday said that all parties have accepted the proposed provisions.

Addressing a news conference here after the draft of the Lokpal Bill proposals was tabled in Parliament, he said that committee members had finalized the final draft of the bill with critical changes, such as partially including the Prime Minister under the body's scanner and make way for a collegiate to appoint the director of the CBI.

The Lokpal Bill report was tabled by BJP leader Arun Jaitley and Congress lawmaker Shantaram Naik, even as the Upper House members raised a demand for passage of a bill on reservations in government jobs.

The speaker of the house had to adjourn the house till 2:30 pm in the afternoon.

"I am happy to announce that when we tabled the committee report in the parliament today, all members of the committee approved the proposed provisions in the bill and we presented the report in one voice," said Chaturvedi.

He added that members rose above their political interests and were united regarding this decision.

"During debate and discussion, there were different views regarding this in the beginning. There is no exception, every member kept the larger national interest before them and rose above politics. If this was not done, then it would have been very difficult to table this report," said Chaturvedi.

He said that the prime minister is under the ambit of the Lokpal (Ombudsman bill) as mentioned in the provisions of the bill passed in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament), but he is excluded from certain matters, including foreign affairs, national security, atomic energy, public order.

"First of all, the prime minister is included in the bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha, though there are subject exclusions. There was no controversy on this issue in the committee, which is why there were no amendments. The provision in the bill is the same as it was in the Lok Sabha. The prime minister is under the ambit of Lokpal, but he has excluded from certain matters like foreign affairs, national security, atomic energy, public order," said Chaturvedi.

The Lokpal Bill became a rallying cry for civil society activist Anna Hazare and his aides last year, when they called for the setting up of an institution to probe corruption in the Congress-led federal government, whose credibility had taken a hit after a series of scams, were exposed.

In the 2011 winter session of Parliament, the Lok Sabha (lower house) gave the bill its assent, but disruptions in Rajya Sabha proceedings saw the Bill delayed.

Suspension of Parliamentary activities due to opposition calls for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over alleged complicity in dubious coal block allocations cost Parliament its monsoon session, further stalling legislation. (ANI)

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