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Updated: July 29, 2011 16:55 IST

Approach Parliamentary panel for changes in Lokpal Bill: Sibal

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Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal during an interaction with PTI journalists in New Delhi on Thursday.
Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal during an interaction with PTI journalists in New Delhi on Thursday.

Government has said that people who are not satisfied with the Lokpal Bill approved by Cabinet can approach the Standing Committee of Parliament and persuade it to make changes.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who was part of the joint committee to draft the Bill, said the government has already reconciled taking into account a number of provisions suggested by the civil society.

“People who want amendments to the Bill are free to go to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee will ask for public comments. They can come and try and persuade the Standing Committee.

“The Standing Committee represents Parliament in every measure. We will then take into account whatever the suggestions are and give a recommendation to the government which in turn will in turn either accept or not accept or partly accept or partly reject or accept wholly and introduce it back for passing in Parliament,” he told PTI.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the Lokpal Bill keeping the office of the Prime Minister outside its purview notwithstanding incumbent Manmohan Singh’s insistence on subjecting himself to its scrutiny.

The Bill, to be introduced in Parliament on August three, also keeps out the judiciary and the conduct of MPs in Parliament from its purview.

To a question on reconciling the demands of the civil society, Mr. Sibal said, “we have already reconciled. It is our Bill. After reconciling, we have reached this position. We have taken into account and this is the position we feel is right.”

He said the government has taken a lot from the civil society draft like separate prosecution wing, separate investigating agency and no sanction required to prosecute the minister.

All officers from Group A and above will come under its ambit, he said adding the budget will be funded like the budget of Supreme Court.

“No sanction required for prosecution of minister or government official unlike now,” he said.

He said the discussions with the civil society are over and “we will not inform civil society. It will come up in Parliament. We will hopefully introduce it as soon as possible and get it passed in winter session hopefully.”

He said the matters relating to disciplinary proceedings of government servants have been kept out. “Lokpal can recommend but LP not takes disciplinary action,” he said.

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