President signs Lokpal bill into law

The Lokpal bill has finally become law with President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday giving assent to the anti-corruption bill passed by both housed of Parliament.

The Lokpal Bill for setting up of an ombudsman to look into corruption charges in the government machinery was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 17 December and by the Lok Sabha the following day.

It was since forwarded to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the President's assent.

''The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2013 has received the assent of the President of India. It has now been published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part-II, Section-1, dated 1 January 2014,'' a release from the President's office stated.

The Lok Sabha secretariat sent a copy of the bill to the law ministry on Tuesday evening with the signature of speaker Meira Kumar. It was then forwarded to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the president's signature.

The 43-year-old movement for a Lokpal bill got a shot in the arm after the agitation launched by social activist Anna Hazare.

The Gandhian leader who had earlier voiced apprehensions over the initial draft, gave his approval to the Lokpal bill during his recent fast in Ralegan-Siddhi in Maharashtra.