Cabinet discusses Lok Pal Bill, but decision deferred

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New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) The much-awaited Lok Pal Bill came up again before the Union Cabinet today, but a decision on the legislation seeking to probe corruption in high places, including that of the office of Prime Minister, was deferred for detailed examination of certain ''legal aspects." "Yes...The Cabinet today discussed the issue. But some legal aspects were raised," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told mediapersons after the meeting, which also coincides with the fourth anniversary of the Congress-led UPA government.

Mr Chidambaram said the Cabinet, whose meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asked the Law Ministry to examine the legal issues raised and report back to it.

The Bill came up before the Cabinet in October 2006. But a decision was deferred then as it felt that there was a need for more discussion.

The Bill has been pending for the past several years.

Enactment of the Bill into law is one of the promises made in the UPA's Common Minimum Programme as part of administrative reforms.

There are indications that the government wants to get the Lok Pal Bill passed before its current five-year term expires in May 2009.

UNI SH RP DS1550

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