Panel on Lokpal Bill examining anti-corruption mechanism

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) A committee set up by thegovernment to give more teeth to the Lokpal Bill is examiningthe anti-corruption mechanism under which even the primeminister will be open to scrutiny.

The Committee of Secretaries on Lokpal Bill, headed bythe Cabinet Secretary, met here recently to considersuggestions to provide more teeth to the proposed legislation.

Sources in the government said the meeting consideredsuggestions by private individuals and NGOs to make themechanism more effective.

One of the criticism is that the Lokpal will not haveany power to either initiate action suo motu in any case oreven receive complaints of corruption from general public.

The public will make complaints to the Speaker of LokSabha or Chairperson of Rajya Sabha. Only those complaintsforwarded by Speaker of Lok Sabha or Chairperson of RajyaSabha to Lokpal would be investigated by Lokpal.

This, some feel, will severely restrict thefunctioning of the Lokpal.

Some NGOs have also objected to the restriction of thethree-member panel of Lokpal to retired judges and they wanteminent people from other walks of life to be part of theLokpal panel.

The government is keen on giving a "final shape" tothe Bill in the coming days.

A Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister PranabMukherjee formed recently to suggest means to tacklecorruption plans to come out with concrete suggestions on theBill by the Budget Session beginning tomorrow so that theproposed legislation can be discussed with opposition partiesto evolve a consensus.

Other members of the Committee of Secretaries include,the Home Secretary, Secretary, DoPT, the Law Secretary andSecretary Legislative Affairs - who is responsible for vettingBills before they are sent for Cabinet''s approval.

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