The main Opposition BJP on Wednesday said that the Lokpal bill introduced by the government in Parliament has “for the first time treated the Prime Minister as a class apart.” The party contended that when country’s criminal law do not give immunity to PM, why the bill has kept PM out of proposed Lokpal institution’s purview.
Speaking on the issue, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, said, “If the logic is that the Prime Minister has to take several sensitive decisions, then the defence minister also has to take decisions which are sensitive and so does the home minister. In some decisions, the Prime Minister and others are involved but while others can be prosecuted the Prime Minister cannot be.” She maintained that though the Bill includes cabinet minister, it does not include the Prime Minister and no reason has been given for this.
Citing 2G spectrum scam issue, Ms Swaraj said the Prime Minister is reported to have been in the know of the decisions taken but the bill states that as long as the PM is in office he is above prosecution by Lokpal.
“The issue here is that though we could not pass the Lokpal bill when we were in power, we have not changed our stand on the issue. But Pranab Mukherjee, who as chairperson of the standing committee on home affairs in 2002, had agreed to inclusion of PM within Lokpal ambit, he is changing his stand now,” Ms Swaraj said. Asian Age