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Kiran Bedi says Lokpal is satisfactory, Anna still unhappy

Kiran Bedi, a part of Team Anna who protested against corruption, has shown support in favour the amendments suggested by the government on Thursday on the Lokpak Bill, even as Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal expressed dissatisfaction over it and continued to oppose the draft.

IBN-Live reported Kiran Bedi saying that the new draft addressed most of the concerns and these were baby steps towards improvement.

AFP

AFP

The government on Thursday amended the controversial Lokpal Bill, delinking it from the setting up of Lokayuktas in the states and transferring powers of sanction of prosecution against public servants to the ombudsman.

The Union Cabinet accepted 14 of the 16 recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee, which was set up in May last year amid sharp differences among political parties because of which the legislation was stuck in the Upper House since December 2011.

The approval of the official amendments paves the way for consideration of the bill afresh by the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session expected to begin towards the end of February.

After getting a nod from the Upper House, the bill with amendments will go back for fresh approval to Lok Sabha where it has already been passed.

The government, however, did not accept the recommendation wherein an accused public servant would get no chance to present his view before preliminary inquiry is initiated.

It also did not accept the recommendation that transfer of CBI officers assigned by Lokpal to investigate a case cannot be transferred without the approval of the anti-graft watchdog, saying that would affect the smooth functioning of CBI.

Among the recommendations accepted by the government is the one about delinking Lokayukta from the Lokpal Bill, an issue which was one of the most controversial provisions with several parties contending that it amounted to the central government encroaching upon the rights of the states.

The select committee had recommended that the state governments will have to set up Lokayuktas within one year of enactment of Lokpal.

The bill will have the provision of appointment of CBI Director by a three-member collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

With inputs from PTI