'Lokpal panel for CBI, CVC autonomy but undecided on including PM'

'Lokpal panel for CBI, CVC autonomy but undecided on including PM'

The aources said the panel is also likely to recommend that Group A and B employees come under the Lokpal, leaving out the Group C and D staff, being demanded by Team Anna.

The panel met Thursday to hold internal discussions on the issue.

Earlier, CVC Pradeep Kumar and CBI director A.P. Singh had expressed their reservations before the panel on bifurcating the agencies, as suggested by Team Anna.

The draft of the standing committee report is expected to be circulated among the members this week and the panel will deliberate on it next week, said sources.

The panel is expected to submit its recommendations to the parliament in first week of December.  The sense of timing in the panel, headed by Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, stems from the fact that parliament, through a sense of the house Aug 27, had assured Anna Hazare to address his concerns on the draft Lokpal bill.

Hazare has threatened to campaign against the Congress in the assembly elections in five states scheduled next year if the Lokpal bill is not passed in the winter session.

The bill can be introduced by the government only after the standing committee submits its recommendations. Sources said the standing committee has concluded the process of public consultations on the proposed legislation.

The panel received six drafts of the bill. The standing committee went through the various drafts of the Lokpal bill, including the Jan Lokpal bill of Team Anna and one by Aruna Roy-led National Campaign for People's Right to Information.

The panel also considered suggestions made by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and former chief election commissioner T.N. Seshan besides the drafts submitted by the citizens.

Sources said there is a general consensus in the committee that the proposed anti-corruption ombudsman should have a constitutional framework to make it a strong and independent body.

"Everybody is for a strong Lokpal. I hope we will be able to submit our report in time," a standing committee member told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The panel heard views of around 50 groups including former judges, lawyers, officials, activists, NGOs and individuals on the issue.

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