The much-awaited anti-corruption measure Lokpal was on Tuesday night one step short of becoming a law with the government sending the bill to President Pranab Mukherjee for his assent.
Highly placed sources in the government said the Lok Sabha secretariat sent to the Law Ministry late on Tuesday evening a copy of the Bill which has been signed by Speaker Meira Kumar.
The Bill was then forwarded to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the President's assent, the sources said. As per the laid down procedure, the House of Parliament which passes the Bill last sends an authenticated copy to the government which includes the official amendments.
While the Rajya Sabha had passed the amended Lokpal Bill on December 17, the Lok Sabha passed the measure the next day. After the assent by the President, secretary legislative department in the Law Ministry will sign it and send it for publication in the official gazettee.
The Lokpal Bill provides for the creation of an anti-graft watchdog which will have under its purview even the prime minister with certain safeguards.
The most prominent of a clutch of anti-graft legislations on the anvil, the Lokpal Bill seeks to establish a Lokpal at the central level and asks states to establish Lokayuktas within a year's time from the date of notification of the law. The format of the Lokayukta will be left to the state assemblies to decide.
The bill was first passed by the Lok Sabha at the fag end of the winter session of 2011, but not by the Rajya Sabha, where it was debated but the house was adjourned before voting on it.
A select committee of the Rajya Sabha later suggested changes in the bill, most of which which were incorporated and approved by the Union Cabinet. Following the amendments, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill.