Lokpal: Left to press for amendments

NEW DELHI: Left parties would press for amendments to the Lokpal Bill on making a model legislation for Lokayukta, having an independent investigating agency under the ombudsman and bringing c

Published: 22nd March 2012 08:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:40 PM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Left parties would press for amendments to the Lokpal Bill on making a model legislation for Lokayukta, having an independent investigating agency under the ombudsman and bringing corporates and NGOs within its ambit.

"The CPI(M) will press for amendments on three crucial areas, the first being Lokayukta. There should be an enabling provision or a model legislation so that Lokayukta's establishment is left to the states," senior party leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.

He said the other areas were to provide for an independent investigating agency under the Lokpal and bringing under its ambit corporate houses and NGOs and not just the public sector and public servants.

Asked whether the amendments moved by the Left on the Lokpal bill had lapsed, Yechury said these could not lapse in the Rajya Sabha which was a permanent House. "However, if they ask for fresh amendments, we will repeat the same amendments".

To questions on making a model legislation or an enabling provision for creation of Lokayuktas by the states, he said, "Instead of a law which becomes a fiat for the states, it should be left to the states to invoke the enabling provision to create their own Lokayukta institutions". This was necessary as prosecution, policing and investigation were matters whose powers were vested in the states, Yechury said.

'All-party meet on Lokpal effort to forge consensus'

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the all-party meeting here on Lokpal tomorrow was part of government's effort to achieve a "meaningful consensus" on the issue.

Singh will meet senior leaders of all parties at his residence to discuss the controversial bill, to which 97 amendments have been moved by Opposition members in Rajya Sabha.

"We have called a meeting of political parties. It is our effort to achieve a meaningful consensus," Singh told reporters here.

The bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha in the last winter session, remained short of going through the procedures of passage in the Upper House at that time as the term of the session had expired. Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanaswamy was in the midst of replying to the debate when the session expired at midnight.

Opposition parties have moved 97 amendments to the Bill in Rajya Sabha some of which were contentious and the meeting would discuss ways to evolve consesus on them, sources said. Some of the amendments, the sources said, are for bringing the Prime Minister's Office under the Lokpal, seek exclusion of Lokayukta from the Bill, abolition of minority quota and inclusion of Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha as one of the members of the selection committee.

Government is keen on passing the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha even as the opposition and social activist Anna Hazare have renewed pressure on the issue.


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