Lalu forces adjournment over exclusion of minorities in Lokpal
RJD, SP, BSP and AIMIM members protested and forced an adjournment following exclusion of minorities from the anti-graft bench of the proposed ombudsman.
The new Lokpal Bill was today at the centre of a fresh controversy before its introduction in the Lok Sabha, with RJD, SP, BSP and AIMIM members protesting exclusion of minorities from the anti-graft bench of the proposed ombudsman.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad raised the issue during Zero Hour alleging that minorities had been kept out "under pressure" from RSS-BJP.
"The Congress and RSS-BJP are hand in glove. That is why there has been a delay in circulating the Bill. We will not accept it. It is incomplete. Amend it and then introduce the Bill," Prasad said. While reading out contents of the Bill which has been circulated among MPs, Prasad accused the government of being scared of the BJP.
Speaker Meira Kumar objected to his reading out from the Bill, pointing out that it was yet to be introduced.
As he was protesting against the government's move, Prasad was joined by members of SP, BSP and AIMIM in creating an uproar. Two SP members also moved into the Well but returned to their seats after the Speaker asked them to go back.
In the melee Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay was seen talking to NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar apparently on the legislation.
After Kumar's request for order failed, she adjourned the House till 2 pm.
The RJD leader said there was a "conspiracy" to keep Muslims out of the measure "on the pretext of printing (mistake). We verified it."
He was referring to a provision in the Bill which provides for 50 per cent quota for SCs, STs, OBCs and women. Initially, the revised bill had the mention of minorities but it was later reportedly deleted.
The Bill seeks to establish a more effective mechanism to receive complaints relating to allegations of corruption against public servants incuding ministers, MPs, Chief Ministers, members of legislative assemblies and to inquire into them and take follow up action.
The Lokpal and the Lokayuktas will have a constitutional status for which government has come up with a separate constitutional (116th amendment) bill.
Both the Lokpal and Lokayuktas will consist of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50 per cent will be judicial members.
It has been made clear in the Bill that no prior sanction will be required for launching prosecution in cases inquired by Lokpal and Lokayuktas or initiated on the direction and with their approval.
Similarly, no prior approval is required for conducting investigation by CBI in cases entrusted by Lokpal.
Inclusion of all categories of employees has been made under Lokpal and Lokayuktas which will receive complaints against Group A, B, C and D government employees.
While in respect of Group A and B officers, complaints referred by the Lokpal to the CVC will be sent back to the ombudsman after the preliminary inquiry, in respect of Group C and D employees, the CVC will take action on its own.
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