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Rajya Sabha select committee adopts draft report on Lokpal

Source: PTI
November 19, 2012 19:42 IST
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A parliamentary committee has recommended delinking creation of Lokayuktas from the Lokpal Bill, a provision that was strongly opposed by cpolitical parties including those supporting the United Progressive Alliance.

The Rajya Sabha select committee on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 has, however, said the state governments will have to set up their own ombudsman through enactment of law by the state legislatures within one year of commencement of this law.

The committee's recommendation is seen as a major concession to Opposition parties and United Progressive Alliance allies, which had termed the original provision, as an attack on federal structure saying the state governments should be free to enact their own law regarding state-level ombudsman.

The Lokpal Bill, whose passage was stalled in Rajya Sabha during the last winter session, had a provision that provided for appointment of a Lokayukta in every state under the central law.

The Bill was referred to the committee in May this year for a detailed examination amidst stiff opposition over its several provisions.

The select committee, which adopted its draft report on MOnday, is learnt to have not recommend any changes in the provision relating to "reservation".

The original provision said 'not less than 50 per cent of the members of Lokpal would be from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class, minorities and women.

The committee's report said, "These provisions merely aim at providing representation to the diverse sections of the society in the institution of Lokpal..."and only indicates "the quantum of representation and not reservation".

The Bharatiya Janata Party has strong reservations about the provision and is understood to have given a "suggestion note" in Monday's meeting opposing any provision for reservation in the measure.

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