Differences persist on many issues over Lokpal Bill - The New Indian Express

Differences persist on many issues over Lokpal Bill

Published: 20th November 2012 11:03 AM

Last Updated: 20th November 2012 11:03 AM

Despite an attempt to bring all the parties closer to a final solution, sources said that differences over certain issues pertaining to the Lokpal Bill could not be resolved.  One such issue of ‘representation of SC, ST, OBC, Minorities and Women’ was adopted in the draft Bill without any amendments.

No changes were incorporated despite strong objections from several parties alleging a government attempt to camouflage its main objective ‘reservation’ under this particular provision.

According to the ‘establishment of Lokpal’ provision in the Bill, it will consist of a Chairperson and up to eight members with not less than 50 per cent of the members from SC, ST, OBC, minority categories and women.

The Select Committee of Parliament on Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011’s  report said the provisions related to appointment of Lokpal merely aim at providing representation to the diverse sections of the society in the institution of Lokpal and it only indicates the quantum of representation and not reservation.

Main opposition party BJP vehemently opposed the provision and is understood to have given a “suggestion note” opposing any provision for reservation.  However, the party refused to speak on this contentious issue saying  it will express the views only after the Bill is submitted to the Rajya Sabha.

On the issue of making the CBI an independent body, the Select committee is said to have accepted few suggestions made by the BJP and AIADMK and is learnt to have recommended that the CBI Director be appointed by a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. The draft Bill also recommended that the CBI should have a separate Directorate of Prosecution under a Director appointed by the CVC, who would report to the CBI chief.

As per the recommendation, both the CBI chief and the Director of prosecution will have a fixed tenure and transfer of any CBI officers investigating cases referred by Lokpal, will require the approval of the CVC.  On the issue of bringing the private sector under the purview of Lokpal, members from Left parties are learnt to have given a ‘suggestion note’ saying private cases which affect public interest be covered by the Lokpal.

On the issue of removal of chairperson or member of Lokpal before his or her tenure, all party members agreed to amend the original provision which vested the executive power of suspending chairperson or members with the President.

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