The Lokpal Bill will be brought in the Rajya Sabha during the budget session next February, Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday amidst uproar over the House not discussing the report of the Select Committee on the Bill. The report was tabled in the Upper House at the beginning of the winter session.
Supporting the protest by CPI(M) members P. Rajeev and K.N. Balagopal over the delay in discussing the report, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said it had come and it was the property of the House, under Rule 93.
“The Chair can take a unilateral decision on discussing the report in the House. It was not a Standing Committee report on which the government had to take a view,” said Mr. Jaitley, who was a member of the committee.
As Mr. Rajeev and Mr. Balagopal came into the aisle, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, who was in the Chair, asked them to go back, saying they were disrupting the proceedings and that they should have raised the matter on the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).
“Those parties which are represented on the BAC should raise it there and not here. The BAC allocates time. It is very easy to raise it there and get time. You should have asked your leaders to raise it,” he said.
Responding to the members’ demand, Mr. Narayanasamy said the government had accepted most of the suggestions of the Select Committee and would bring the measure in the Rajya Sabha after the Union Cabinet’s approval.
Interrupting him, Mr. Jaitley said: “Please do not alter the Standing’s Committee’s report. This report is here and if the government wants, it must move its amendments on the floor of the House,” he said.
The Minister said: “We follow the rules. Yes, the government has to move amendments and the Leader of Opposition knows that we have to take the Cabinet into confidence. Therefore, the government will come up with its amendments to the report in the budget session and the House can discuss it.”
The Select Committee report makes it mandatory for the States to set up Lokayuktas and suggests establishment of a Directorate of Prosecution under the CBI Director for Lokpal cases.