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Cong LS leader in Lokpal panel; govt to move Bill

Under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, the selection committee led by the Prime Minister consists of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) 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.

The Act, as now proposed to be amended, seeks to remove the deficiencies and provide for the alternative of leader of single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha in the event there is no LoP in the House, for being represented on the selection panel for appointments of chairperson and members of Lokpal, an official statement said on Thursday.

The amendments, which were approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, paves the way for the inclusion of Congress party leader Mallikarjun Kharge in the selection panel.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has rejected Congress demands for LoP status to its leader. Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP’s 282 but fell short by 11 to stake claim to the LoP post for which it requires a strength of 55.

The Cabinet has also approved amendments to providing for qualifications for appointment of Director of Prosecution in CBI and for its functional independence.

The Director of Prosecution is appointed under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police
Establishment (DSPE) Act, which governs the working of the CBI.

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