Lokpal Bill may be passed in Budget Session, Sonia assures Anna

The Lokpal Bill will be passed in the ensuing Budget Session of Parliament, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has assured social activist Anna Hazare.

Gandhi is understood to have written to Hazare on Saturday, in response to the anti-graft campaigner’s January 23 letter seeking to know whether the CBI will be brought under the ambit of the Lokpal.

The content of Gandhi’s letter is not yet known. Her response comes two days before Hazare’s proposed nationwide tour in support of farmers.

It was also understood that the Prime Minister’s Office wrote to Hazare on January 10, informing him that the Centre was taking actions on the issue, based on recommendations by the Rajya Sabha select committee last year.

The Lokpal Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last year. It is pending before the Rajya Sabha where voting could not take place in the Winter Session.

The anti-corruption campaigner had said: “There is a chain of corruption right from the lowest-ranked government employees to the people’s representatives and bureaucrats. Till the time the CBI and CVC are under the government’s control, corruption will never end.”
Hazare said Mahatma Gandhi had also emphasised on the need for a strong law to end corruption.

 “The people in the country also want strong laws that award stringent punishments like death sentence and life imprisonment to the corrupt. But Parliament or state legislature drafted the laws devoid of any public participation which make them ineffective.

He also said: “We want to know the fate of the Lokpal Bill draft that was prepared by a joint committee of government representatives and civil society,” he added.

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