Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari has referred the Lokpal Bill to the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice. The Bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 4 has been sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for in-depth scrutiny. Sources disclosed the committee has been given three months to submit its report, The standing committee is headed by Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi who was recently appointed in the place of Jayanthi Natarajan, who became a minister in the recent reshuffle.
The Bill was introduced amid the BJP’s objection over non-inclusion of the Prime Minister’s office under the purview of the anti-corruption watchdog. Civil society activists had burnt copies of the government Lokpal Bill after it was introduced in Parliament terming it anti-poor.
Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare, who was part of the joint drafting committee by the government on the Lokpal bill, has decided to go an indefinite fast from August 16 against the government’s bill.
The government for the first time had constituted such a committee consisting of five representatives each from the government’s side and the civil society represented by Mr Hazare. But the civil society representatives and government nominees had failed to arrive on consensus on issues including whether PMO should be brought under the purview of the Lokpal. Asian Age