Lokpal to be a Constitutional body: Law minister | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Lokpal to be a Constitutional body: Law minister

delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2011 22:00 IST

In a surprise move, the government intends to make the Lokpal a Constitutional authority which will be "more powerful" than the Election Commission".

A Constitutional amendment bill is to be introduced for this purpose in the Winter session of Parliament starting next month and the Lokpal legislation is expected to be approved in the same session, Union law minister Salman Khurshid told PTI on Tuesday night.

The move for a Constitutional body is a follow-up to the proposal made by AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at last month's Lok Sabha debate on Lokpal, Khurshid confirmed this.

Asked about the composition of the Lokpal, the law minister said the proposal was to have a 11-member body, at least 50% of whom will have judicial background, such as former judges of Supreme Court and high courts.

"We are working on a very strong Lokpal Bill. A Lokpal Bill that will come with a Constitutional amendment. That amendment will give the Lokpal the status of a Constitutional authority," he said.

The Lokpal will be "more powerful than the Election Commission" and "will have far greater powers". Its profile and stature will be "much higher", he added.

The non-judicial members in the anti-corruption body will be from civil society, including those who have worked on corruption issues and good governance such as those who have held high positions in investigative agencies.

Khurshid confirmed that the proposal was with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Grievances and Department of Personnel.

The law minister said the proposal had not yet been formally considered by the Union Cabinet but the sense in the government and the party was for a Lokpal that will have Constitutional status.