The Delhi government on Wednesday cleared the Jan Lokpal bill, saying it was akin to the one that failed to become law during the AAP’s first stint in power.
“A strict Lokpal which won’t be a mere slogan, which won’t be limited to symbolism... that particular bill of the Anna movement has been passed by the cabinet by the name Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill 2015. This is the same bill which came up during the Anna movement, without any changes,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.
The draft bill, among other provisions, also brings the office of the chief minister under its purview and is in the lines of the Uttarakhand Lokpal Bill which stipulates time-bound probe.
Following the decision, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the bill will be tabled in the assembly soon, while Sisodia said that the Business Advisory Committee will take a call on when to table the bill.
A senior government official said the government will make every possible effort to get it passed in this ongoing Winter Session.
Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, who earlier tried to corner the government over non-tabling of the bill on the floor of the House, said the government’s move was out of “compulsion”.
“If the news is true then it is our success since BJP has been demanding tabling of the bill. Although the government was not inclined to bring the bill, it did so under compulsion it seems,” Gupta said.
“Any dilution of the original bill won’t be acceptable to the Congress. The bill that was laid during the first stint of the AAP government should be brought,” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said.
The Aam Aadmi Party traces its roots to the Jan Lokpal movement which was spearheaded by anti-graft activist Anna Hazare. In its first term, the AAP had introduced the bill in the Assembly in February 2014.
However, Kejriwal resigned within 49 days of assuming office on being unable to garner support to get it passed.