Changes suggested in Lokpal Bill 'non-negotiatble': Team Anna

Changes suggested in Lokpal Bill 'non-negotiatble': Team Anna

Hardening their stand, Team Anna members today said the four changes suggested by them in the Lokpal Bill were "non-negotiable" and plans to sit on dharna outside MPs' houses could be called off only if the government agreed to amendments in the proposed legislation.

Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan also said a parallel programme will be held at Ramlila maidan here on December 27, 28 and 29 between 10 am and 6 pm and the proceedings of Parliament, where the bill will be debated, will be telecast live.
"The four changes are non-negotiable...for other changes we can continue our fight later," Bhushan told reporters here.

He said the changes include giving Lokpal an independent investigative wing or bringing CBI under the administrative control of the ombudsman. "If Lokpal has an independent investigative wing, the government can keep control over CBI," he said.

Team Anna is also demanding that Lokpal and Lokayuktas must be able to suo motu initiate own investigations, without a complaint or reference from anyone.

Another suggestion of Team Anna is that Lokpal should not be required to alert the accused through preliminary enquiry or hearing before filing an FIR.

Team Anna has also demanded that the jurisdiction of Lokpal and Lokayuktas should include Class C and D officers directly.

On the selection of the Lokpal, Bhushan said it should be through consensus of the selection panel and the Lokpal's removal should be independent of government's control.

"Anna will arrive in Delhi on December 30 for dharna outside an MP's could be Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi ....that can be decided....It will depend on what transpires in Parliament. If there are indications that Parliament or the government is ready for amendments then there will be no need for it (dharna)," he said.

He said people have been requested to hold dharna outside houses of MPs who either oppose a strong Lokpal Bill or support the new bill in Parliament.

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