Various parties have given notice for 173 amendments to Bill in Rajya Sabha

The United Progressive Alliance ally, Trinamool Congress (TMC), has given notice for four amendments to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011, out of the 173 notices given by various parties. The Bill is under consideration of the Rajya Sabha for passage.

Even as the fate of the Bill hung in balance as the upper house debated its provisions, several opposition parties including the BJP, CPI(M), and the Janata Dal (United) urged the government on the floor of the House to accept the amendments and get the Bill passed on Thursday itself.

Of the parties that have moved amendments, majority have demanded amendment to the clauses providing for setting up Lokayuktas through the same Bill, to give autonomy to the Central Bureau Investigation as well as wider representation on the panel to select Lokpal.

 Parties that had given notices till Thursday afternoon included the TMC, BJP, Samajwadi Party, AIADMK, CPI(M), CPI, Telugu Desam Party, Shiromani Akali Dal, Independent member (Mohammad Adeeb) and Biju Janata Dal.

However, as the government initiated back-channel talks with some of the smaller parties, it was not clear how many amendments would be moved. It was also unclear till afternoon if the government would accept any of the amendments.

Sources said if any amendment was accepted by the government and carried in the Rajya Sabha, then the amended Bill will have to come back to the Lok Sabha — which has since been adjourned sine die — for consideration and passage.

In case the Lok Sabha, whenever it is convened, does not approve the amendments adopted by the upper house then the government may have to go in for a joint session of Parliament and get the Bill through or the Bill will lapse.

However, if the Bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, then it will go to the President for her assent to make it a law.

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