Parliament panel offers to assess Jan Lokpal draft as well news
10 August 2011

The government seems to have broken the impasse over the Lokpal bill with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lokpal assuring civil society members led by Anna Hazare on Wednesday that the government members would go through the Jan Lokpal draft as well.

The Lokpal bill cleared by the cabinet seeks to keep the offices of the prime minister and higher judiciary as also the conduct of members of parliament inside the House while the draft Jan Lokpal bill seeks inclusion of the prime minister, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament under the ambit of the Lokpal.

The Jan Lokpal also seeks a strong redressal mechanism to address public grievances as also setting up of lokayuktas at the state level.

The civil society members have also sought independent selection and removal process as also a funding mechanism that would ensure autonomy in the functioning of the new ombudsman.

The Lokpal proposed by the ministers group in the 10-member Lokpal drafting committee, consists of chairperson and eight members, half of them from the judiciary.

The Lokpal will, however, have its own prosecution and investigation wing with officers and staff necessary to carry out these functions.

Hazare also struck a compromising note saying that if the government still agrees to incorporate the civil society demands Lokpal bill, they would suspend their agitation.

Hazare is set to sit on an indefinite fast beginning 16 August in New Delhi, although the venue is still undecided. The Delhi police have offered Jai Prakash Narain National Park near Firozshah Kotla Ground as venue for Anna Hazare's protest subject to permission from the agency which owns the land.

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Parliament panel offers to assess Jan Lokpal draft as well