Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirmed his government's commitment to bring a strong and effective lokpal bill in the monsoon session to tackle corruption in high places but said that such an institution will have to work within the framework of the Constitution.
In his opening remarks at Sunday's all-party meeting, Singh sought to rule out the creation of a parallel structure by spelling out the parameters under which the lokpal is to be set up.
"The institution of the lokpal has to work in harmony with other institutions and laws and it has to function within the framework of the basic structure of our Constitution. It has to add to and not detract from the legitimate role and authority of other institutions in our democratic structure. The Constitution provides for an intricate system of checks and balances and the new institution of lokpal has to find an appropriate place in that matrix," he said.
"We have to keep in mind that whatever arrangement we propose has to be for the larger good of our society and our country."
Singh's remarks are significant as Team Anna Hazare is keen to bring all institutions — including the PM and judiciary — in the ambit of the lokpal while the government is against it.