The latest draft of the Lokpal bill, for the first time, brings the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) within its scope. The draft Lokpal Bill, 2010 is the ninth attempt to set up the office of the Lokpal that will probe corruption at the Centre.
Though the concept of a Lokpal was first mooted as far back as 1968, and eight earlier drafts of the bill were made, none of them translated into law.
The draft bill authorises the Lokpal to probe allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister and his office, except in matters related to "national security, maintenance of public order, national defence and foreign relations".
The bill, however, still keeps the President, Vice-President, Lok Sabha Speaker, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson, Comptroller and Auditor General, all three election commissioners, Supreme Court and High Court judges out of the purview of any probe by the Lokpal.
"The draft bill has been circulated among the ministries concerned for their views," said a top government official.
The proposed three-member Lokpal will probe complaints against the PM, ministers and MPs if directed to it by either the Speaker or RS chairperson.