Corruption bill to be sent to select panel

Corruption bill to be sent to select panel

The government on Monday agreed to refer a bill amending the Prevention of Corruption Act to a select committee following objections raised by the Opposition over the issue of overlap with the provisions of the Lokpal Act.

Members belonging to the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress besides others argued that the bill be referred to the select committee.

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, provides for more stringent punishment for the offences of bribery, both for the bribe giver and the bribe taker by amending the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It seeks to enhance penalty for graft to a maximum of seven years from five years now, among other new provisions to check the menace.

On December 3, when the bill was moved in the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition had raised their objections and demanded that a scrutiny by Select Committee was necessary. They were of the argument that there was no need to hurry through the legislation.

As the discussions began on Monday, SP’s Naresh Agrawal said the proposed amendments were already covered by Lokpal Act and questioned the relevance of passing the bill when “everything will be decided by the Lokpal”.

Madhusudan Mistry of the Congress said eight or nine members of the Rajya Sabha have already moved a petition seeking sending of the bill to a select committee.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O Brien also said the sense of the House seems to be to send it to the select committee.Bowing to the mood of the House, the government agreed to the Opposition demand.

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