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Updated: April 10, 2011 03:21 IST

Lokpal Bill in monsoon session, says Manmohan

Sandeep Joshi
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Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: S. Subramanium
Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: S. Subramanium

The Centre will introduce the Lokpal Bill in Parliament during the monsoon session, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday.

“The government intends to introduce the Lokpal bill in Parliament during the monsoon session. The fact that civil society and the government have joined hands to evolve consensus to move this historic legislation augurs well for our democracy,” he said in a statement after social activist Anna Hazare ended his fast.

(The monsoon session normally starts in July).

He said the scourge of corruption was affecting the nation. “I hope that the process of preparing this legislation will move forward in a constructive mode so that after consultation with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, the legislation is placed before the Cabinet for introduction during the monsoon session.”

After Mr. Hazare began his fast on Tuesday, Dr. Singh deputed Human Resource Development and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal to hold talks with the social activist. Dr. Singh held discussions with UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his senior Cabinet colleagues before accepting Mr. Hazare's demands for a stronger Lokpal Bill.

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This is a moment of vigilant dedication to efforts optimised at proper clauses being added to the Lokpal Bill. The committee will do well to use the language which gives it teeth while still having clauses which prevents the Bill to be misused by Naxalite kind of organisations. India is not China or Saudi Arabia and the biggest power in India is that voters do not re-elect the representatives it does not like. Lest it be forgotten, here even PMs, CMs, have lost elections. The Pros-RSS Fascist policy or Maoist approach in deciding if a person is a corrupt or merits punishment is not a reflection as envisaged in a federal judiciary and legislative structure India's constitution envisages. Agreed, executive bodies appear weak.Then let us strengthen them. Let us strengthen CBI, ED. Fill posts. Anna will do well to be on guard and see that the Draft bill introduces clauses which decide to bring everyone accountable while still respecting the legislative assembly responsibility. Instead of wasting time in blaming all wrongs on Politicians and MPs let it force BJP and CPM MPs to start taking Parliamentary debates seriously. This year even the important Union Budget got passed without a proper debate.

from:  Nitin Mathur
Posted on: Apr 10, 2011 at 12:11 IST
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