`PM, higher judiciary be kept out of Lokpal ambit`

The Prime Minister and the higher judiciary should be kept out of the ambit of the Lokpal, according to leading business chambers body Assocham.

New Delhi: The Prime Minister and the higher judiciary should be kept out of the ambit of the Lokpal, according to leading business chambers body Assocham which
will launch a media campaign on the issue from Monday.

With the Lokpal bill a priority agenda of the government in the winter session of Parliament, the industry body has suggested "the Prime Minister be kept outside the purview of the Lokpal."

Assocham is the first chamber to launch the initiative while all other industry bodies had generally hailed the anti-corruption agitation launched by Anna Hazare seeking a strong Lokpal bill.

However, Assocham said, a mechanism could be devised to scrutinise the PMO`s discretionary or commercial decisions without undermining the independence of the institution.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee is currently debating the Bill. The government has said it is hopeful of the passage of the Bill in the winter session of Parliament beginning Tuesday.

Appreciating the government`s initiative on the issue, Assocham also suggested that the Supreme Court and High Courts` judges be kept outside the purview of the Lokpal.

"A Comprehensive Judicial Standard and Accountability Bill should deal with professional misconduct or corruption cases," it said.

PTI

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