Jan Lokpal bill gets Cabinet nod
The Delhi government on Wednesday cleared the Jan Lokpal Bill, paving the way towards creating the post of an anti-graft ombudsman, which it claimed was similar to the one proposed during the Anna Hazare movement, and will table it in the Assembly soon.
“A strict Lokpal which won’t be a mere slogan, which won’t be limited to symbolism... that particular bill of the Anna movement has been passed by the Cabinet by the name Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill 2015. This is the same bill which came up during the Anna movement, without any changes,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
The bill, according to sources, is based on the Lokpal bill of Uttarakhand, which was drafted by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia in 2011.
“The draft bill brings the office of the Chief Minister under the preview of Lokpal. It also stipulates that investigation by the Lokpal is to be completed in six months and trials be conducted in a time-bound manner,” said a senior officer of Delhi government.
Amidst uproar in the House, Speaker Ram Niwal Goel assured them that the bill be tabled in the House in the Winter session itself with no further delay.
“I am saying this on the basis of the discussion I had with the government,” emphasised Goel when BJP MLAs demanded the statements of the CM and Deputy CM on the issue.
BJP leaders alleged that the government has vested interests to delay the bill despite having a brute majority in the House. The Congress, which has failed to win any seats in the Assembly, also posed the same question and protested outside the Assembly.
“Any dilution of the original bill won’t be acceptable to the Congress. The bill that was laid during the first stint of the AAP government should be brought,” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said.
It was the civil society which started the topic with the hashtag #KejriwalWhereIsLokpal, which had become a top trend on Twitter hours before the Assembly session started.
“The government is hell-bent on creating a controversy. As per the procedure the Cabinet should have passed it earlier and sent it for the approval of Central government,” said Vijender Gupta, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly.
“So far, the government has not taken the approval of Central government on the bills it has listed for introduction in the Assembly,” he added.