The parliamentary panel examining the lokpal bill on Wednesday agreed to bring 70% of the central government employees under the purview of the anti-graft watchdog — a key demand of Team Anna — but remained divided on issues such as making the PM accountable to the regulator.Members belonging to the opposition parties, led by the BJP, did not agree with some of the key recommendations of the draft report in its final meeting.
The parliamentary standing committee on law and justice, headed by Abhishek Singhvi, also remained sharply divided on issues such as bringing the prime minister within the watchdog's ambit and making the citizens’ charter a part of the lokpal. Team Anna was pushing for both.
Singhvi said the committee adopted the report, which “would be tabled in Parliament soon”. The members from opposition parties contested it, saying the report couldn’t be considered as adopted till the time their dissent notes were made a part of it.
BJP members insisted on the inclusion of the PM with some safeguards. The CPM and AIADMK representatives backed them.
Majority of the members belonging to the Congress and friendly parties were in favour of probe against the prime minister only after he demits office.
The lokpal bill introduced by the government in Parliament in August provided for bringing Group A central government officials (top bureaucracy) under its purview. It included the most highly paid officials of the public-sector undertakings also.
The parliamentary panel first expanded its scope to include the Group B officials as well. With the latest recommendation on Group C employees, who comprise nearly 60% of the government work force, the panel has accepted a key demand of Team Anna. It has also recommended appointment of the CBI director by a panel comprising the PM, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and lokpal chairperson.