Parl panel will decide next week on PM under Lokpal ambit

Abhishek Singhvi
New Delhi, Nov 27: The Parliamentary Panel on Lokpal Bill, which is divided on inclusion of Prime Minister under the ambit of the anti-corruption watchdog, will take a call on the issue at its meeting this week, its chairman Abhishek Singhvi said on Sunday.

"We have to discuss the issue at the next meeting," Singhvi told PTI adding,"we are now at the stage of report adoption and we hope to complete the work within this week."

A consensus on the inclusion of the Prime Minister under the purview of Lokpal has so far eluded the panel with members sharply divided on the issue.

Congress members backed the Government version that any case against the Prime Minister should be investigated by Lokpal seven years after he demits office. They felt that if a serving PM was brought under Lokpal, he may face frivolous complaints.

BJP members felt that the Prevention of Corruption Act was not enough to deal with graft charges against the Prime Minister who should be brought under Lokpal with certain safeguards like excluding issues relating to internal security and foreign affairs. BSP, RJD and LJP are totally against such inclusion of the Prime Minister.

Singhvi said that the committee has prepared a very substantive report in which it was in favour of giving constitutional status to the Lokpal, a suggestion mooted by Rahul Gandhi in Parliament during the Monsoon session. Gandhi had said that it was a game changing idea.

Singhvi also said the panel was in favour of maintaining independence of judiciary.

Team Anna has been insisting the inclusion of higher judiciary under the ambit of Lokpal saying that the Judicial Accountability Bill proposed by the Government does not deal with corruption of judges.


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