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Present a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament: Team Anna to UPA

Last updated on: July 27, 2011 22:17 IST

Present a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament: Team Anna

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As the government prepares to bring the Lokpal Bill to the Cabinet, social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday pitched for a strong version of the law to be presented for the consideration of Parliament, contending that the official version falls "far short" of people's expectations.

"The Congress claims Congress ka haath, aam admi ke saath (Congress is with the common man). We sincerely hope that aam admi's corruption will also be addressed through the Lokpal Bill," Hazare said.

He said it was a rare opportunity for the United Progressive Alliance government to change the history of India and if they present a strong Lokpal Bill, the whole country would be indebted to them.

Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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Government's Bill is 'too weak'

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"We sincerely appeal to the Union Cabinet to present a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament," he said in a statement.

Contending that the government's version of the Lokpal Bill "falls far short" of the expectations of the people, he said it was "too weak and ineffective. It has a very narrow jurisdiction."

There was "nothing for a common man in the present version of the government's Lokpal Bill. Common man's corruption has been completely left out of Lokpal Bill," said activist Arvind Kejriwal.


Image: Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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'What is covered under the government's Lokpal Bill'?

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Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, "The government claims that it first wants to tackle high-level corruption".

"None of the large scams of recent times like the Adarsh Housing scam, the Commonwealth Games scam, the Reddy brothers scam, the mining scam, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha scam, the cash-for-vote scam, the fodder scam, the Taj corridor scam -- none of these scams are covered by the government's Lokpal Bill. So, what is covered under the government's Lokpal Bill," he sought to know.

The Lokpal Bill will be brought to the Cabinet in its next meeting.


Image: An anti-corruption rally

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'Standing Committee can't rewrite a law'

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Kejriwal argued that if the government presents a Bill with faulty structures, then even the Parliament's Standing Committee will not be able to do much about it.

"Parliament and the Standing Committee have their limitations. The Standing Committee may negate a law or it may suggest some amendments, but the Standing Committee does not have the jurisdiction to rewrite a law. It cannot completely replace a law. It cannot change the basic structure of a law," said Kejriwal.


Image: An anti-corruption rally

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