After deliberations that dragged on for about a year, the Parliamentary Committee examining the bill on anti-corruption watchdog Lokpal has finalised its draft report and its final version will be submitted to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari early next month.
The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by Congress MP E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, is examining the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
“A draft report is ready and it will be circulated to all members of the Committee. After taking into consideration their views, the final report will be submitted to Rajya Sabha before December 10,” Natchiappan told PTI.
He said the panel held wide consultations on various provisions of the bill based on the views of stakeholders that included a large number of civil servants.
The amendment bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 18 last year after which it was referred to the Committee on December 22. It was asked to submit its report by March 25 this year.
The panel had got first extension till July 30 to complete its task. Later, it had sought more time and got two more extensions, which ended on September 30 and November 15, respectively.
The Lokpal Act, 2013 provides for establishment of the anti-graft watchdog Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into corruption complaints against public servants.
The amendments to the Act include the one for allowing the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, in case there is no Leader of Opposition in the House, to be part of the selection panel for appointment of the chairperson and members of Lokpal.
The Lokpal selection committee headed by the Prime Minister has as its members the Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition in the Lower House, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the President or any other member.
(With inputs from the PTI)