Lokpal bill on its way; session to be extended news
22 December 2011

Parliament has reportedly been converted into a fortress with heavy security bandobast as the government is set to introduce the lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha at 2 pm today.

Minister for parliamentary affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal said eight hours have been earmarked for discussion in each house.

As reported earlier, Parliament will reconvene for an extra three days from 27 December, after a Christmas break, to facilitate its passage. The government gave up a move to get the bill passed on Friday, and accepted the parliamentary business advisory committee's decision to go extend the session.

The houses will also discuss the whistleblowers bill and the judicial accountability bill during the extended session. The Lok Sabha will discuss the whistleblowers bill along with the lokpal bill, while the Rajya Sabha will discuss both the bills separately.

The 70-page lokpal bill has two parts. The first needs a constitutional amendment needing a two-thirds majority, while the second - seeking the creation of a central corruption watchdog with parallel anti-graft agencies in states - can be passed with a simple majority, which the United Progressive Alliance government can probably muster.

The 10-member lokpal will have 50 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes. However the earlier proposal to have reservations for minority communities as well has been dropped as it might run into constitutional hurdles.





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Lokpal bill on its way; session to be extended