New panel scrutinising Lokpal Bill to call Law Secy

A newly constituted Parl panel held its first meeting and decided to call Law Secretary BA Agarwal to seek clarity on legal aspects.

New Delhi: A newly constituted Parliamentary panel to examine Lokpal Bill today held its first meeting and decided to call Law Secretary B A Agarwal to seek clarity on legal aspects involving the anti-graft ombudsman.

The Rajya Sabha Select Committee, which was formed last month to narrow down differences among political parties on the contentious Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, also decided to seek opinion from a broad spectrum of people on the issue.

The panel also decided to issue a public notification inviting comments on the Bill and call representatives of various ministries for recording of evidence.

The Law Secretary is expected to brief the panel on the legal aspects of the Bill at its next meeting on July 4.

"We have decided to seek opinion from the widest cross section of the public on the Lokpal issue," a member said.
The Bill, on which debate had remained inconclusive in the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session, was referred to the Select Committee on the penultimate day of the Budget Session.

On June 15, the Rajya Sabha notified a 15-member Select Committee chaired by Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi.

The Committee has been asked to submit its report on the first day of the last week of the Monsoon session.

Several members could not make it to the meeting for various reason ranging from delay in flight to lack of information about the meeting.

One member said he got to know it from media reports that the first meeting was convened for today. He said he had lodged a protest with Committee chairman in this regard and demanded that members should also be informed through SMS about the meetings.

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