Parliamentary panel seeks public opinion on Lokpal Bill

Parliamentary panel seeks public opinion on Lokpal Bill

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel today issued an advertisement in dailies giving out salient features of the Bill and asking people to send their opinions and suggestions within 15 days.

While 15 days is the standard time given by parliamentary panels to people or organisations to send feedback on bills, it was an indication that the Committee will not be able to give its recommendations before the end of the Monsoon Session on September 8.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has set August 30 as the deadline for Parliament to pass the bill.

Soon after the bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 4, the Rajya Sabha Chairman has referred it to the Committee and given it three months to give recommendations.

The Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel is serviced by the Rajya Sabha secretariat and headed by a Rajya Sabha member – in this case Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Soon after the bill was referred to it, the Committee had invited team Hazare to place its views before the panel.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had recently said that Hazare was free to place his views before the panel once again.

 Reacting to the newspaper advertisements seeking suggestions from public on Lokpal Bill, Hazare`s associate Arvind Kejriwal said it appeared to be an exercise which will waste the time of people and Parliamentarians.

"We appeared before the Standing Committee earlier and told them that the present bill is actually for promotion of corruption and save the corrupt people," he said.

"It ends up targeting those who complain against corruption," Kejriwal said, adding they had urged the Standing Committee to reject the bill and send it back to the government.

"It is wasting precious time on a wrong and faulty bill," he said.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "All the interested stakeholders should put their opinion in front of us, they will be considered carefully clause by clause, this process will be done.
"The bill is not in the Lok Sabha yet, it is only with the standing committee as of now.

Only when it comes in Lok Sabha, then there will be parliamentary proceedings...neither me nor you can comment on it...But how much time Parliament will take cannot be ascertained," he said.

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