UPA's solution to 'PM under Lokpal Bill' debate

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Lokpal Bill drafting panel
New Delhi, Jun 8: With protests and fasts giving a jolt to the ruling UPA government, another issue that is hogging the limelight is the contentious issue whether the Prime Minister should fall under the purview of the proposed "Lokpal Bill". Since the civil society seem divided on the matter and with the government forced to take a credible stand on the issue, they seem to have arrived at a consensus. They have decided to let the Lokpal hands to reach the Prime Minister's office but only after he has exited his office.

With the Lopal Bill drafting committee spearheaded by Anna Hazare stressing for the PM and the judiciary to fall under the ambit of the Bill, there was a different perspective put forward on the similar issue. Both the Constitution Review Commission during the NDA regime and the Administrative Reforms Commission claimed that the PM would be “hobbled" and will not be able to exercise his duties if he was brought under the Lokpal Bill.

The Lokpal Bill had gone through some challenging times with the Bill being introduced in the Parliament for close to seven times but never passed. With the first attempt for the passing of the Bill way back in 1963, subsequent attempts were made to include the PM under the Bill during 1977, 1989 and 1998.

The Constitution Review Commission had stated, "...the Prime Minister occupies a unique position. He is the kingpin of the entire government structure. It is his image, his reputation and his personality that pervades the entire government. Because of his very position and the power he wields, he attracts a good amount of opposition, criticism, allegations and what not. If a Lokpal were to take up each and every allegation or accusation made against the Prime Minister by a political party or a group or a person, it would hobble the Prime Minister in an effective discharge of his functions. He cannot afford to remain under a cloud all the time nor can the nation afford a Prime Minister under a cloud all the time."

With the debate still alive, the tussle between various groups and the government is still on. But, with the petty excuses being flouted to avoid the PM and judiciary from the Lokpal Bill radar, the attempt only leads us to think the real purpose of the Bill?

OneIndia News

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