Report of select committee on Lokpal Bill tabled in Rajya Sabha

Lokpal Bill  in Rajya Sabha

The report of the Select Committee on Lokpal Bill, which has recommended delinking of creation of Lokayuktas in states from the central bill, was tabled in the Rajya Sabha today.

The report was tabled by Committee member Shantaram Naik amid pandemonium created by members of Samajwadi Party and BSP over reservation for SCs and STs in government job promotions.

The controversial bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last year, faced opposition hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on various provisions, including the one making it mandatory for states to set up Lokayuktas.

In view of the sharp divide, the bill was referred to the Select Committee. The panel, which was to submit its report during the Monsoon Session, adopted it on November 19.

The bill, along with the Select Committee's recommendations, will have to be considered by the Union Cabinet. Once the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, it will travel back to the Lok Sabha for approval of the amended version.

The Prime Minister has been exempted from the ambit of Lokpal on issues of external and internal security, atomic energy, international relations and public order.

Despite suggestions by the Law Ministry during depositions before the Committee suggesting 'insulation' to officials of the PMO, the Committee, headed by Satyavrat Chaturvedi, has not recommended any changes.

The Select Committee has not recommended any change in the provision relating to "reservation". The original provision aid not less than 50 per cent of the members of Lokpal would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.

The Committee's report said, "these provisions merely aim at providing representation to diverse sections of the society in the institution of Lokpal" and only indicates "the quantum of representation and not reservation".

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