December 21st, 2011
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Lokpal cleared by cabinet, CBI kept out

manmohan-singhNew Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister cleared the draft of the much debated Lokpal Bill which will be tabled in Lok Sabha on Thursday. The bill seeks to give constitutional status to a news anti- corruption body which will include the prime Minister in its ambit. The Central Bureau of Investigation shall remain independent and will not be under the control of the Lokpal. The administrative control of CBI will continue to remain with the Department of Personnel Training.

The Lokpal will not investigate complaints suo motu. It will only take into consideration the complaints made to it by members of the public. The Lokpal committee will not have an investigative wing. Instead it will only have an inquiry wing. The inquiry wing will refer cases for investigation to the CBI which will be done under the Lokpal’s supervision.

Group A B C D government employees will all be under the Lokpal with complaints against Group C and D being referred to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for investigation. The Lokpal will have oversight/appellate powers.

The PM will come under the Lokpal ambit but with stringent safeguards. the Lokpal will not be allowed to entertain any complaints against the PM pertaining to international relations, public order, atomic energy and space. A complaint against the Prime Minister will be accepted only if three-fourths of the Lokpal committee are party to it. The enquiry will be in camera and the report will go to Parliament.

The Lokpal will be a nine member body whose chairman will be selected by a four member panel consisting of Prime Minister, Lok Sabha speaker, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or any nominee from among the Supreme Court judges. Fifty percent of the Lokpal bench will be reserved for SC/STs, OBCs, minorities and women members. The members will have five year term and can be impeached only after 100 MP’s make a representation.


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