‘Parl panel report on Lokpal legally complicated’

BJP expressed strong disasgreement with the Parl Committee report on Lokpal Bill, alleging that it has been unnecessarily made legally complex.

New Delhi: BJP on Friday expressed strong
disasgreement with the Parliamentary Committee report on
Lokpal Bill, alleging that it has been unnecessarily made
legally complex and wondered if this was an attempt to make
passage of the legislation difficult.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley
pointed out that the Lokpal Bill report of the Parliamentary
Standing Committee on Personnel and Law and Justice had faced
as many as 17 dissent notes on various occasions when the norm
is that it should be passed with consensus as far as possible.

"There seems to be an attempt to make the report so
complicated that passage of the Bill becomes difficult. I feel
this is the intention behind some of the proposals in the
report. It has ignored the political and social wisdoms and
got involved in legalisms," he said.

Asked why the government would do so as failure to pass
the Bill would mean facing the wrath of Anna Hazare, who has
threatened to go on a fast, Jaitley said the reason could be
the differences within the Manmohan Singh dispensation.

"This is a government of sulking individuals. Its
depleting moral fabric will be further weakened," he said.

BJP will stick to its notes of dissent both inside and
outside Parliament. It is opposed to complete exclusion of the
Prime Minister, Citizens` Charter and lower bureaucracy within
the ambit of the Lokpal.

"This report will hurt the credibility of the
government. It has given an additional tool in the hands of
those who feel that this government does not keep its word,"
Jaitley said.

He alleged that the government has gone against the
"sense of the House" expressed in the last session of
Parliament on the Lokpal Bill.

"When Anna Hazare broke his fast, the sense of the House
was that the lower bureaucracy and Citizens` Charter should be
under the Lokpal," Jaitley said.

BJP wants that the PM should be included in
Lokpal`s ambit with two caveats- that he should be exempted
on issues related to public order and national security.

The Standing Committee report has left it to Parliament
to decide on inclusion of the Prime Minister, put the lower
bureaucracy under the CVC and stated that the government can
take a call on the Citizens` Charter.

"The promise and commitment made to Parliament cannot be
broken though there can be flexibility in how you bring the
lower bureaucracy and Citizens` Charter under the Lokpal,"
Jaitley said.

The main opposition is also unhappy with the report not
making the CBI independent and autonomous.

As stated in the dissent note of its MPs, BJP wants
that the CBI director be appointed not by the government but
by a collegiums comprising of the Prime Minister, Leader of
Opposition and the Chairperson, Lokpal; and delinking the
investigative and prosecution wings of the agency.

"Nobody has the right to interfere in the investigations
of the CBI. It should be completely independent. Similarly,
the director of prosecution should be an independent
official," Jaitley said.

All the seven BJP members in the Standing Committee
had given their dissent on these issues.

"Simple subjects have been complicated through
legalisms. This looks like a lawyer`s draft which is devoid of
political and social realities," Jaitley said.


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