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Lokpal Bill drafting committee to meet today

New Delhi , Mon, 20 Jun 2011 ANI

New Delhi, June 20 (ANI): Representatives of the government and civil society will meet here today to take the process of drafting an effective legislation to combat corruption forward.


Monday's deliberations could be the last meeting of the joint committee and another round will be held on Tuesday if the discussions for an anti-corruption watchdog are not concluded today.


On the eve of the meeting of the Lokpal joint drafting committee - the eighth since April 16 - senior ministers held discussions for nearly three hours to finetune the government's strategy.


The deliberations, chaired by Finance Minister and panel chairman Pranab Mukherjee, were attended by Union ministers Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid and Veerappa Moily - all members of the committee.


In an earlier meeting, there was a consensus on seven of the 34 points submitted by the civil society members.


There was an agreement on empowering the Lokpal to initiate a suo motu probe into allegations of corruption against ministers, parliamentarians and senior bureaucrats.


Currently, a minister can be prosecuted only after sanction from the Prime Minister. The Lok Sabha Speaker or the Rajya Sabha Chairman has to give the nod in case of action an against Member of Parliament.


Former union minister Shanti Bhushan, a member of Hazare's team and co-chair of the committee, in a letter to Mukherjee had earlier suggested that the government first present its views on all remaining points and possible solutions on issues on which there were divergent views.


The latest version has a new clause, Clause 13-C, which gives wide powers to "an appropriate bench of the Lokpal' to approve interception and monitoring of messages or data or voice transmitted through telephones, internet or any other medium as covered under the India Telegraph Act, read with the Information and Technology Act 2000.


Another new provision in this draft is for the setting up of a separate "prosecution wing" for the office of Lokpal, which is already envisaged to have powers to investigate.


The draft was circulated to government representatives during the Committee's fist meeting on April 16. (ANI)


Read More: Delhi | Mon | Veerappa Moily

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