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Panel wants PM under Lokpal purview

New Delhi, Nov 19, 2012, DHNS 0:23 IST

Recommends delinking of Lokayukta from Lokpal

A parliamentary panel has suggested that the Prime Minister should be brought under the purview of the Lokpal, while appointment of Lokayukta should be done as per the state legislation.

The Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, said that the Prime Minister, however, be exempted from the ambit of Lokpal on issues of external and internal security, atomic energy, international relations and public order.

The panel, which recommended the delinking creation of Lokayuktas from the Lokpal Bill, said that the state governments will have to set up their own ombudsman through enactment of law by the state legislatures within one year when the law comes into effect.

The committee’s recommendation is seen as a major concession to the opposition parties and UPA allies, which had termed the original provision as an attack on federalism saying the state governments should be free to enact their own law on state-level ombudsman.
The Lokpal bill was referred to the committee headed by Satyavrat Chaturvedi in May for a detailed examination amidst stiff opposition over its provisions.

The Select Committee which adopted its draft report on Monday has not recommended any changes in the provision relating to reservation. The bill is likely to be tabled in the coming winter session of Parliament.

The original provision said not less than 50 per cent of the members of Lokpal would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women. However, the BJP had opposed giving any reservation.

On making the CBI independent of government control, the committee is said to have recommended that its chief be appointed by a collegium comprising of the PM, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

The panel also recommended that NGOs getting direct support in form of funds from the government be only covered by Lokpal or the proposed institution will be flooded by complaints.

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