Lokpal Bill passed in Rajya Sabha; Anna still continues fast

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Rajya Sabha
New Delhi, Dec 17: Taking a historical step, Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Dec 17 passed the much awaited anti-corruption bill -- Lokpal Bill. Lok Sabha will have a debate on the same bill on Wednesday.

The government agreed to incorporate a key amendment demanded by the opposition BJP, which allows searches or raids by the CBI or police on an officer accused of corruption without notice.

However, Gandhian crusader Anna Hazare informed that he will continue his fast protest until unless the bill does not get full clearance from Lok Sabha. He also claimed that Rajya Sabha decision to pass Lokpal Bill pleased him and is confident that the bill will reduce corruption in the country by 40 to 50 per cent.

Lokpal Bill will reduce corruption by 40-50 per cent: Anna Hazare

The anti-graft law provides for a Lokpal or national ombudsman to investigate corruption charges against public functionaries.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal earlier in the day had urged all parties to rise above politics and pass the "historic Bill". The BJP's Arun Jaitley, the Leader of Opposition, backed the proposed law but added that it was important to have state level authorities, or Lokayuktas.

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