Report on Lokpal tabled in Rajya Sabha

Report on Lokpal tabled in Rajya Sabha

The Congress on Friday facilitated tabling of the select committee report on the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, even as the India Against Corruption rejected it as an “eyewash.”

The amended Bill provides for a separate directorate of prosecution in the CBI, which will work under the superintendence of the Lokpal. It also gives the states the freedom to formulate Lokayukta laws within a year of the Lokpal legislation.

The report was presented before the House by senior member of the select committee Shantaram Naik.

Speaking to media, chairperson of the committee, senior Congress leader Satyabrat Chaturvedi, said: “The committee has successfully balanced differing perceptions and prejudices to come out with an unanimous recommendation.”

He claimed that the report has addressed questions on the independence of the CBI and authority of the Lokpal. The committee recommended that CBI director be appointed by a collegium comprising the prime minister, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the chief justice of India.

Amendments provide for a separate director of prosecution in the CBI. However, the director will remain head of the organisation. The Director of Prosecution will be appointed on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). For those cases referred by the Lokpal, the CBI will work under its supervision and
superintendence. The CBI officer investigating such cases can not be transferred without the Lokpal’s approval.

The amendments have done away with the provision of hearing the accused before preliminary inquiry or a full fledged investigation.

The major amendments include changes in the procedure of appointment of the Lokpal. According to the new arrangement, four selection committee members will chose the fifth member. In the existing Bill, the President was required to select the fifth member. The four members of the selection committee are the prime minister, speaker of the Lok Sabha, leader of the Opposition and the chief justice of India or his nominee.

Amendments limit the jurisdiction of the Lokpal to institutions wholly or partially financed by the government, working in connection with affairs of the state or receiving donations above specified limit from foreign sources.

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