The Standing Committee looking into the Lokpal Bill

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The Standing Committee looking into the Lokpal Bill
New Delhi:  Four days after it was introduced in the Lok Sabha, the Lokpal Bill was referred to Parliament's Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice on August 8. This committee is headed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

The committee of 31 members from across parties, has been given three months to submit its report. On Saturday, the Standing Committee invited suggestions from the public on the Lokpal Bill - it published advertisements in leading newspapers, seeking ideas and suggestions on the Bill. People can send in their suggestions within 15 days.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, on a fast at Ramlila Maidan, has demanded that the Lokpal Bill be passed by Parliament by August 30. But not the one that the government has tabled in Parliament and which is now being reviewed by the Standing Committee. He wants the Jan Lokpal Bill, drafted by his team of activists, to be passed. Among key elements in the Bill drafted by the government, that are not acceptable to Anna's team, is that it keeps the office of the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament outside the purview of the Lokpal, or ombudsman.

The Standing Committee also has a copy of Anna's Jan Lok Pal Bill - moved by Congress MP from Bareilly, Praveen Singh Aron, last week. There is a third draft too, which another powerful voice in civil society, Aruna Roy, and the National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) have prepared. Ms Roy, who has been critical of Anna Hazare, has said this version too will be presented before the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Team Anna has asked the Standing Committee to reject the government's draft Bill. The Standing Committee chairman, Mr Singhvi, has said his panel will discuss all views.

What is a Parliamentary Standing Committee?

Parliamentary Committees are panels made up of MPs from both Houses and from across parties. There are two kinds of committees: Standing Committees and Ad hoc Committees. Standing Committees have a fixed number of members and the panel is elected or appointed periodically. They discuss and examine issues and submit a report to Parliament. Ad hoc committees are set up on a particular issue or for a particular task and exist for long as it takes to complete it.

The Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice is a department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee. This committee has 31 members - 10 Rajya Sabha members and 21 from the Lok Sabha. 

Of the 24 Standing Committees, eight are under the jurisdiction of the Rajya Sabha Chairman - among them the one headed by Mr Singhvi - and 16 are under the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Among other functions, a department-related Standing Committee examines Bills pertaining to related ministries or departments. These are referred to the Committee by the Rajya Sabha Chairman or Lok Sabha Speaker and the committee examines and reports on the Bill. The Lok Pal Bill was referred to the committee by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.

It is mandated that the report of the Standing Committee should be based on broad consensus; that any member of the committee is allowed to record a dissent on the report of the Committee, and that the report of the Committee, together with the minutes of dissent, if any, must be presented to both Houses.

The report of the Standing Committee needs to have "persuasive value" and is treated as "considered advice given by the Committee," according to the Parliament of India website.


Untitled Document

Srno

Member Name

Status

House

Party

State

1

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Chairman

Rajya Sabha

Congress

Rajasthan

2

Shri Parimal Nathwani

Member

Rajya Sabha

Independent

Jharkhand

3

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan

Member

Rajya Sabha

L.J.P

Bihar

4

Shri Amar Singh

Member

Rajya Sabha

Independent

Uttar Pradesh

5

Shri Ram Jethmalani

Member

Rajya Sabha

Nominated

6

Shri Balavant alias Bal Apte

Member

Rajya Sabha

B.J.P.

Maharashtra

7

Shri O.T. Lepcha

Member

Rajya Sabha

S.D.F.

Sikkim

8

Smt. Chandresh Kumari

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

9

Shri Lalu Prasad

Member

Lok Sabha

R.J.D.

10

Shri D.B. Chandre Gowda

Member

Lok Sabha

B.J.P.

11

Shri Shailendra Kumar

Member

Lok Sabha

S.P.

Uttar Pradesh

12

Dr. Kirodi Lal Meena

Member

Lok Sabha

Independent

13

Shri Harin Pathak

Member

Lok Sabha

B.J.P.

Gujarat

14

Shri N.S.V. Chitthan

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

Tamil Nadu

15

Smt. Deepa Dashmunsi

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

16

Jyoti Dhurve

Member

Lok Sabha

B.J.P.

17

Dr. Monazir Hassan

Member

Lok Sabha

J.D.(U)

18

Shri Devji M. Patel

Member

Lok Sabha

B.J.P.

19

Shri S. Semmalai

Member

Lok Sabha

A.I.A.D.M.K.

20

Shri Vijay Bahadur Singh

Member

Lok Sabha

B.S.P.

21

Dr. Prabha Kishore Taviad

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

22

Shri Manish Tewari

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

23

Shri R. Thamaraiselvan

Member

Lok Sabha

D.M.K.

24

Shri P. T. Thomas (Idukki)

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

25

Kumari Meenakshi Natrajan

Member

Lok Sabha

Congress

26

Vacant

Rajya Sabha

-

27

Vacant

Rajya Sabha

-

28

Vacant

Rajya Sabha

-

29

Vacant

Lok Sabha

-

30

Vacant

Lok Sabha

-

31

Vacant

Lok Sabha

-

1 Nominated w.e.f. 26/07/2011

2 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

3 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

4 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

5 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010


(List of members sourced from: ParliamentofIndia.nic.in)

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