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What credibility does Lokpal parliamentary panel have: Team Anna

Last updated on: December 9, 2011 15:52 IST

What credibility does Lokpal parliamentary panel have: Team Anna

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Two days ahead of Anna Hazare's fast for a strong Lokpal Bill, his team today stepped up attack on government questioning the "credibility" of the Standing Committee report on the issue saying it has only the support of 12 members.

 

Team Anna also said they will oppose "tooth and nail" the Standing Committee proposals on the ombudsman which they claimed is taking the anti-corruption systems in the country two steps backward.

 

"Standing Committee had 30 members. Two never attended. Sixteen dissented. So this report is supported by balance 12. Seven are from Congress, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Amar Singh and rest from Mayawati's BSP.

 

"So much for credibility of this report," prominent Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said.

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Claiming that the committee recommendations, if implemented, would increase corruption and disintegrate CBI's functioning, Kejriwal said, "This report takes our anti-corruption systems two steps back. We must oppose this report tooth and nail".

 

His comments came even as Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman Abishek Singhvi sought to allay fears that making Lokpal a constitutional body would delay its passage and maintained that the process can be completed in a single day.

 

Hazare will go on a one-day fast on Sunday in protest against the Standing Committee proposals, which excludes his key demands like bringing lower bureaucracy under the ambit of the ombudsman besides provisions for Citizen's Charter.

 

Activist Kiran Bedi also echoed Kejriwal and said, "damage is done by keeping CBI's investigation powers out of Lokpal- whole reason for the Lokpal? Will Parliament undo?"

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What credibility does Lokpal parliamentary panel have: Team Anna

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Bedi said the fears about diluting the Lokpal have been "not unfounded".

 

"People must know why CBI's investigating powers are a must be with Lokpal. Country now needs united opposition to undo. And once for all bring CBI under Lokpal. Or else we have weakened even what we have," she said.

She said the reason for having Lokpal was to give CBI investigation team insulation from political influences.

"Lokpal has not been given any investigative powers. It has been giving power to inquire which is not needed. CBI need to conduct preliminary enquiry to proceed with investigations.

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Tags: CBI , Lokpal , Team Anna , Bedi

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"How can you separate the preliminary enquiry from investigations? So in a way the Lokpal Bill has also weakened CBI by taking away its powers to conduct preliminary enquiry," she said.

 

Bedi expressed hope that Parliament will reverse the Standing Committee proposal.

 

"Parliament can overrule the Standing Committee, so we hope that Parliament in unanimity sets the CBI free," she said.

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