Lokpal Bill: Panel for delinking Lokayuktas

The Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 has recommended de-linking setting up of Lokayuktas in the states from the Lokpal Bill. The recommendation, if accepted by the government, could pave the way for passage of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. This contentious clause was one of the main reasons why many political parties, including some UPA allies, had opposed the Bill, saying it was an attack on the federal structure.

In another major recommendation, the panel has partially accepted suggestions by parties like the BJP and the JD(U) on making the CBI independent of government control. It has recommended that the CBI chief be appointed for a fixed tenure by a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

Also, in another important recommendation, the committee has persisted with the clause to bring the office of Prime Minister within the ambit of the proposed legislation. The Prime Minister, will, however, be exempted from the ambit of Lokpal on issues of external and internal security, atomic energy, international relations and public order.

However, the committee, which adopted its draft report on Monday, has not recommend any change in the provision relating to reservation of posts, with the original provision being kept intact.

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