Accusing the Centre of "blowing the tune of falsehood" on its stand against corruption, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Lokpal bill passed in 2013.
Rahul attached a screenshot of Modi's tweet dated 18 December, 2013, in which the prime minister hailed the role of Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley in getting the bill passed.
बीत गए चार साल
नहीं आया लोकपाल
जनता पूछे एक सवाल
कब तक बजाओगे 'झूठी ताल'?
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 5, 2018
Taking a dig at Modi, Rahul said that four years had passed since the Bill became an Act but the government at the Centre was yet to take an action.
"Are the defenders of democracy and harbingers of accountability listening?" he asked.
The Lokpal and and Lokayuktas Act was enacted in 2013.
In 2016, the Act was amended to allow extension of the time limit for public servants and trustees of NGOs receiving government funds of more than Rs 1 crore or foreign funding of more than Rs 10 lakh to declare their assets and those of their spouses. As per the original Act, the date was 31 July every year.
In December 2017, Anna Hazare, whose anti-corruption protest attracted a huge outpouring of support in 2011, accused both the UPA and the NDA governments of weakening the Bill.
Hazare had said: "Former prime minister Manmohan Singh rarely speaks, but he had also weakened the Lokpal law (when it was framed)... Modi has further weakened the law by presenting an amendment in Parliament on 27 July, 2016, through which a provision was made that relatives of (government) officers including wife, son, daughter and others will not have to submit details of their properties every year."
The Lokpal selection panel consists of the prime minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, and an eminent jurist nominated by the President of India.
The original Act required the Leader of the Opposition to come from the party which should has a strength of at least 10 percent of the total members in the House. Since none of the parties crossed this mark, an amendment was brought in 2014 to the existing Lokpal Act to change the Leader of Opposition to Leader of the largest Opposition party.
Moreover, despite the Supreme Court's April, 2017 order that Lokpal can be appointed without leader of Opposition, there has been no talk on it by the Centre.
On 27 December, the Centre had informed the Lok Sabha that the government was still examining the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee on the Lokpal Act.
With inputs from agencies.
Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018 18:51 PM