Lokpal report: Rajya Sabha panel seeks extension
The Rajya Sabha panel examining the highly publicised anti-graft lokpal bill, on Thursday, decided to seek an extension till the winter session of Parliament for submitting its report.
In a meeting, members of the the committee — headed by Congress MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi — appeared unanimous in seeking the extension of its term to complete analysis of the bill, which has already been passed by Lok Sabha.
Though the panel was given time till September 3 by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari to submit its report, it wants more time to complete the job. Subject to the house functioning on Friday, a resolution could be moved to seek the house’s approval for giving the panel more time to submit its report.
The lokpal bill, which has been hanging fire in Parliament since 1968, was passed amid high drama in the Lok Sabha on the night of December 27 last year, following a nearly 10-month agitation by social activist Anna Hazare and his colleagues.
It, however, hit a wall in Rajya Sabha when a combined opposition and even some Congress allies questioned many provisions of the bill on December 29. The government was forced to adjourn the proceedings because it did not have the majority to get the bill passed.
Faced with a belligerent opposition even during the budget session earlier this year, the government called an all-party meeting in March, following which it was referred to a select committee in May. The reason for doing this was the persistent lack of consensus among members.
In the beginning of the monsoon session on August 8, the government had expressed the hope that the select committee would finalise its recommendations by the last week of the session.