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Lokpal eye likely on overseas funding

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2011 01:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The parliamentary panel examining the Lokpal Bill is set to recommend that the corporates, media and NGOs which receive foreign funding and donations from the public, should be brought within the anti-graft watchdog's purview.

The panel would also recommend that the judiciary and MPs' conduct inside Parliament be kept out of lokpal's purview. It is set to reject the demand for hiving off the prosecution wing of the CBI, to bring it under the watchdog's jurisdiction.

Members are unanimous in their views over conferring constitutional status on the lokpal and on setting up of lokpal at the Centre and lokayuktas in states through a single bill to be passed by Parliament.http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/291111/29-11-pg13a.jpg

The draft report on the bill, which has been circulated to members of the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice and would come up for finalisation on Wednesday, favours lokpal's jurisdiction over corporates, media and NGOs in so far as receipt of donations from the public, within the country or from foreign sources.

It said if the foreign funds are above R10 lakh per year, under the context of Foreign Regulation Contribution Act, such organisations - whether controlled by the government or not - should be covered under the lokpal.

"It is thus clear that corporates, media or NGOs should and would be covered only to the above extent and not otherwise," the draft said.

Team Anna has said it has no objection to the inclusion of NGOs in the lokpal's ambit, though the move would not help in curbing corruption.

However, the draft document has not taken a position on inclusion of the prime minister in the ambit of lokpal. The issue would be considered in the Wednesday meeting.

Various options, including keeping the prime minister under lokpal with safeguards and bringing him only after he demits office, have been suggested.

The panel, which deliberated over increasing the scope of lokpal on central government employees, has decided to keep only the top two categories of officials - Group A and B, and has rejected Team Anna's demand to bring all central government employees within the anti-graft watchdog's ambit.

Committee chairman Abhishek Singhvi has maintained that members would arrive at a consensus on all issues referred to it by Parliament.

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