Panel meets to finalise Lokpal recommendations
New Delhi: The Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi will meet on Thursday to finalise its recommendations on the Lokpal Bill.
With a consensus emerging between the government and Team Anna on several contentious issues, which includes keeping the Prime Minister out of the ambit of the Lokpal bill, the parliamentary panel expects to submit its report by December 7.
However, the two sides still differ with each other on the inclusion of higher judiciary and lower bureaucracy under the ambit of Lokpal.
Although the pressure from opposition and Team Anna still looms large, the panel is likely to recommend bringing the prosecution wing of the CBI under Lokpal`s control and free from Centre’s control to counter accusations that the probe agency is subject to political pressure.
The panel is also likely to advocate giving CBI`s anti-corruption wing more autonomy and bringing it under Lokpal. The panel may also recommend that the CVC`s powers be limited to taking disciplinary action against lower bureaucracy.
It is also likely to give in to Team Anna’s demand that no government permission should be need before prosecuting bureaucrats.
A day ahead of the Lokpal Panel’s meeting, Team Anna reached the Parliament on the opening day of the Winter Session and met BJP leaders in a last ditch attempt to persuade them to include the provisions of their Jan Lokpal Bill.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi and lawyer Prashant Bhushan met Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and expressed their reservation regarding the exclusion of Citizens’ Charter and lower bureaucracy from the Bill.
The Government has already announced that it would introduce the Citizen’s Right to Grievance Redress Bill in the ongoing Session of Parliament and there are indications that only Group A and Group B officers would come under the ambit of Lokpal. Team Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill demands that all levels of bureaucracy should be brought within the purview of the ombudsman.
Team Anna requested the BJP leaders to persuade their members on the Parliamentary panel to include the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill. They also reminded the leaders about the “Sense of House” resolution passed by both Houses of Parliament separately before Hazare suspended his fast in August.
The resolution stated that Lokayuktas in states would be created through the same Bill and lower bureaucracy and Citizens’ Charter would be included in the Lokpal Bill.
As per reports, Jaitley and Swaraj assured Team Anna that they would discuss their demand within their party.
Team Anna has also sought time from the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and RJD.
With Agencies Input
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