Team Anna on Monday accused the government of reducing the Lokpal to “an empty tin box with no powers” as it proposes to exclude Citizen's Charter and the lower bureaucracy from the ambit of the proposed Bill.

Noting that the “reports filtering out of the Standing Committee were a cause for concern,” Team Anna issued a statement that : “The government proposes to remove CBI, judiciary, citizen charter, whistle blower protection, Group C and Group D employees and CBI from the Lokpal jurisdiction. Wouldn't that reduce Lokpal to an empty tin box with no powers and functions?”

The statement said Anna Hazare had suspended his fast in August on the basis of a resolution passed by Parliament which was termed as a “sense of the House” by some people but referred to as “resolution” by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his letter to the social activist.

“The resolution clearly stated that three issues would be addressed through the Lokpal Bill, namely Lokayuktas in States would be created through the same bill and lower bureaucracy and citizens charter would be included in the Lokpal bill.”

“However we are surprised that contrary to that resolution, the government proposes to exclude citizen charter and lower bureaucracy from Lokpal's jurisdiction and bring a weak and ineffective bill to deal with citizens grievances.” The Standing Committee has completed its deliberations with the public, including Team Anna, on the proposed Bill and is expected to submit its report by the first week of December.

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