Asserting that he has no hesitation in subjecting himself to the jurisdiction of Lokpal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday ruled out inclusion of higher judiciary within the ambit of the anti—corruption ombudsman.

Bringing higher judiciary under the jurisdiction of the Lokpal would be contrary to the Constitutional scheme of things, he said while voicing confidence that a national consensus would be evolved on the proposed Lokpal Bill.

He told a group of editors in New Delhi that his Cabinet colleagues were of the view that bringing the institution of Prime Minister under Lokpal would create an element of instability which, at times, can go out of hand.

“I, for one, have no hesitation in bringing myself under the purview of the Lokpal,” he said.

Affirming that he was not saying “anything one way or the other”, he said that the office of the Prime Minister was covered by anti-corruption Act in any case. Any person holding this office was a “24-hour servant of the people” who can be removed by Parliament through a vote of no confidence.

There were divergent opinions on the subject in the country, he said, adding that he would like to be “guided” by political parties.

On higher judiciary, the Prime Minister said “there are clear reservations” in bringing it under Lokpal.

Judiciary must be encouraged to find its ways and means to regulate its own affairs consistent with the spirit of the Constitution, he said.

“How would the Supreme Court pronounce on complex issues if it is subject to the jurisdiction of the Lokpal,” Dr. Singh asked.

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