Union Cabinet approves amendments to Lokpal Bill

New Delhi The Union Cabinet met today and approved major amendments to the Lokpal Bill, the proposed anti-corruption legislation that has seen much debate and sparring between the government and the opposition and civil society.

Here are the highlights of what Union Minister V Narayanasamy said at a briefing:

  • Today the cabinet approved the Lokpal and the Lokayukta bill
  • Amendments proposed in the cabinet have been approved
  • On December 27, 2011 The Lokpal and Lokayukta bills were passed in the in the Lok Sabha
  • On December 29, 2011 when we took the bill to the Rajya Sabha, it was debated and carried over to May 2012
  • On May 27, 2012, there was a demand from members of the parliament that the bill should be referred to a select committee
  • The bill was referred by the chairman of the Rajya Sabha to select committee
  • Total 16 amendments were proposed by the select committee out of which 14 have been approved, two have not been approved
  • Contentious issue was Lokayukta. Most members suggested that Lokayukta bill should be passed in respective states
  • Hence select committee mentioned in their report that from the day Lokpal is passed in Parliament, within 365 days states have to pass Lokayukta in respective states. This was accepted by the government
  • People who want to be part of Lokayukta shouldn't be part of any political party. Amendment made to that, those people should not be 'affiliated' to any political party. This was also accepted by the government
  • Select committee of Lokpal should include PM, Speaker, leader of Opposition, CJI, eminent juries
  • Select committee suggested that PM, CJI, Speaker, and the Opposition leader should decide selection of eminent jury members
  • Committee suggested that charitable institutions like hospitals, schools etc. should be excluded from the purview of Lokpal. We accepted this
  • Temples, Gurudwaras, churches and other religious institutions will be excluded from purview of Lokpal
  • Ramdev's trust is not religious, that will definitely be under purview of Lokpal
  • Committee suggested that after receiving complaint, on basis of suo moto, Lokpal can order investigation against whom charges have been leveled. We didn't agree to this.

Story First Published: January 31, 2013 16:02 IST

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