Lokpal Bill in Monsoon Session: PM

PM said the joining of hands of civil society and government augurs well for democracy.

Last Updated: Apr 09, 2011, 13:00 PM IST

New Delhi: Terming the joining of hands of
civil society and government on the Lokpal Bill issue as a
step that augurs well for democracy, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh said the government intends to introduce the "historic
legislation" in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

"I am happy that the government and representatives of
civil society have reached an agreement in our mutual resolve
to combat corruption. I am pleased that Anna Hazare has agreed
to give up his fast," he said in a statement here.

Describing corruption as a scourge that confronts all
of us, the Prime Minister said, "The fact that the civil
society and the government have joined hands to evolve a
consensus to move this historic legislation augurs well for
our democracy."

He said the interaction between the government and the representatives of Hazare was productive.

"I hope that process to prepare this legislation will
move forward in a constructive mode so that after consultation
with a wide spectrum of stake holders, this legislation is
placed before the Cabinet for introduction during the Monsoon
Session," the Prime Minister said.

Government had last night agreed to issue a formal
order to set up a 10-member joint committee for drafting a
strong Lokpal Bill.

The announcement of an agreement came from both sides
after four days of Hazare`s fast-unto-death that evoked a
nationwide support cutting across the society.

"Government has accepted all our demands and I will
end my fast tomorrow at 10:30 am. This is a victory for the
entire nation," Hazare had said last night.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be the
Chairman of the committee that will also include Law Minister
Veerappa Moily, Telecom Minister Sibal, Home Minister P
Chidambaram and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid as
members.

Besides Hazare, those representing the civil society
in the joint committee will be eminent lawyers Shanti Bhushan,
Prasant Bhushan, retired Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hegde and
RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal. Shanti Bhushan will be the
co-Chairman.

PTI