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Union Cabinet to discuss Lokpal Bill on Thursday

New Delhi The Union Cabinet will discuss the amendments to the Lokpal Bill on Thursday. The Cabinet will discuss the key amendments proposed to the bill by the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha, where the bill is pending since last year.

The committee was formed to look into the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha members for the Lokpall Bill.

Yesterday, the government had agreed to delink state Lokayukta from the Central legislation and to the appointment of the Director of Prosecution by the Central Vigilance Commission or CVC, accepting some of the key recommendations of the Select Committee.

However, it has not favoured another key recommendation of the panel that an official facing an inquiry from the Lokpal not be given an opportunity to be heard at the stage of the preliminary enquiry.

The proposal of the Department of Personnel (DoPT) is however, silent on the appointment of the CBI chief by an independent collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

Another recommendation made by the committee was that when an officer investigating a case is sought to be transferred for any reason, prior approval of the Lokpal should be required.

The DoPT was earlier opposed to the proposal and had suggested an amendment saying transferring any official would remain the exclusive right of the government as it was an administrative matter.

But now, the government is learnt to have accepted the recommendation, agreeing that the Lokpal will be kept in the loop while transferring officials investigating cases at the behest of the ombudsman.

Once the Cabinet approves the proposal, the amendments will be put to vote in the Rajya Sabha.

The bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha but the government's efforts to provide Lokpal with Constitutional status did not succeed in the Lower House.


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