Lok Sabha Passes Lokpal Bill, but No Constitutional Status

Lok Sabha Passes Lokpal Bill, but No Constitutional Status

New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS): The Lok Sabha Tuesday gave its assent to the historic Lokpal bill after the government agreed to bring official amendments at the end of marathon 10-hour debate which saw the opposition tearing into the legislation.

However, the government suffered a major embarrassment as it could not pass the bill to give constitutional status to the Lokpal.

The Lokpal bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha where the government does not have a majority.

The day saw hectic deliberations within the government as some United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies of the Congress joined the opposition in slamming some provisions of the draft legislation.

The Congress core group met in the evening to finalise amendments which were spelled out by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his reply to the debate in his capacity as Leader of Hosue in the Lok Sabha. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party staged a walk out before voting on the Lokpal bill.

Amendments pressed by the opposition to the Lokpal bill were negated either by voice vote or by division. Speaker Meira Kumar said that the first division had been negatived by 247-69.

Mukherjee, in his reply to the debate, sought cross-party support and reminded members that the discussion had been taking place on the crucial legislation for over six months.

"Let us pass this bill because people are waiting... We are determined to curb the menace of corruption. We shall convey this message by passing the bills unanimously," Mukherjee said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy had in the morning moved the Lokpal bill for consideration and passage. He also moved the bill to give constitutional status to Lokpal and the whistleblowers protection bill.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who intervened in the discussion, urged MPs to rise above party politics and pass the new laws.

Earlier, opposition members demanded withdrawal of the Lokpal bill introduced in the house last week citing "deficiencies", but the government asserted it should be passed as it reflected the sense of the house passed in the form of a resolution in August.

"I urge my colleagues in parliament to rise to the occasion and look beyond politics to pass this law," said Manmohan Singh.

The Lok Sabha discussed the contentious bill even as social activist Anna Hazare and hundreds of his supporters gathered at a ground in Mumbai for a three-day hunger strike to force the government to enact his version of the law that he says is key to setting up a strong ombudsman to fight rampant graft in the country.

Parliament is meeting Dec 27-29 in an extended session to debate the proposed laws that would be put to vote at the end of the debate.

Opposition parties proposed many amendments to the Lokpal bill which include giving the Lokpal an investigative wing, setting the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) free from the government's administrative and financial control, and making it optional for states to set up their own anti-graft Lokayuktas.

Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, punched holes in the Lokpal bill, saying it was anything but a strong and effective law to deal with corruption in the country.

"It is patently unconstitutional (bill)... deeply flawed and tampers with the basic structure of our constitution," she said.

Communication Minister Kapil Sibal led the government's counter-charge.

He lashed out at the BJP for indulging in grandstanding but not wanting the bill to be passed. "Their politics is not to allow Lokpal, but just to criticise the government. They have not given a single positive suggestion on it."

Left parties also opposed the bill, saying it was too weak to fight corruption in the country.

"With the current bill, we do not expect a strong Lokpal," Basudeb Acharia of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said.

Whistle-blowers bill passed by Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha late Tuesday night passed the whistle-blowers bill, providing protection to those providing information about corruption.

The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010, (the whistle-blower protection bill) was passed after the Lokpal bill, as amended, was voted by the house, but the constitutional amendment bill that sought to accord statutory status to the anti-graft ombudsman was defeated.


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Comment on this article

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    The behaviour in the Lok Sabha and the voting pattern shows that none of the dirty politicians’ irrespective of any party are interested in a strong Lok Pal.
    Jaago GenNext Jaago! Fight for a strong and safe Jan Lok Pal Bill that can bring down any mighty corrupt Indian, particularly the Govt Servants, without fear or favour. Take more time but create a perfect draft to fight corruption at grass root level.
    Jai Hind!!

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • anp, blore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    Rajneesh, doha/mlore

    u beleive Digvijay singh .
    but find it difficult to accept anna who is doing good for the nation .
    Also I ask you what is wrong if he had worked as secretory for a rss pramukh? what has that got to do with the cause hes fighting for ?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajneesh, doha/mlore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    Dear ALL, I read an article regarding Anna, I dont know how far it is true..

    It says.."Ex-BMC deputy commissioner Khairnar calls Anna 'coward'

    Anna Hazare had run away from the battlefield during the 1965 India- Pakistan War, alleged G R Khairnar, former deputy commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Maharashtra's original 'Mr Clean'.

    In the sensational revelation on Sunday, Khairnar added: "Hazare himself told me that. He said he was driving the vehicle carrying the army jawans when it was fired upon.He immediately left it and ran for his life. That is how Hazare claimed he saved himself." The allegation came on a day Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh fired a fresh salvo at Hazare, saying he once worked as a secretary with RSS leader Nanaji Deshmukh.

    Please read from the link below

    Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/kairnar-calls-anna-coward-military-deserter-anna/1/165874.html
    Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/kairnar-calls-anna-coward-military-deserter-anna/1/165874.html"


    DisAgree [7] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdul samad, mangalore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    anna wht next...? can u oppose congress and bjp in up election...

    DisAgree [8] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • amin, Mulky

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    Yes anna,Mangalore....Anna can't be compared with mahatma gandi..I wish we could talk against so called Mahatma Ghandi.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lavin Noronha, Paladka/Bahrain

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    As the parliament is debating the useless Lokpal bill, the CAG has unearthed a latest scam by none other than SHARAD PAWAR. The report audited from 2006-2011 finds irregularities in pulse import to a tune of over 1000 crores. Will this crook be the first catch of lokpal. Na anaj choda, Na ghai ka chara choda, Na Khel choda, Na phone choda, in gaddar netao ne tho apna mathrubumi ye bech dala.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • R Mallar, Kasaragod/ Dubai

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    Congress has clearly failed to gauge the mood of the public. Only this time they managed the media and floor of the house better.
    Nobody has any illusion that the proposed Lokayukta will make any difference. It will be a used by opposition parties in the next general elections as a stick to beat congress - " we have told you that your bill has no teeth and it has been proven now" will be the rheotoic.
    Any bet on how many seats congress will win - rather lose in next UP lections????
    Common people will continue to keep suffering -as always.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • jatin, mlore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    What can you expect from a FAKE democracy ?. What you get is hype, spin and a result that protect the crooked neta when he gets caught or exposed. The entire political system in India is a sham and mockery on the people of India. The electoral system is flawed and helps rigging or fixing, the judicial system is sunk in huge delays that make the legal system dysfunctional. The political class will continue to loot and plunder the country eating away the cream of the land and the crumbs left for the rest 99.5% of the people. That is India, the land of FAKE democracy.

    We have been fooled. It was a drama enacted as per the screenplay collectively written by SP,BSP and RJD. RJD,P and BSP are grown and flourished in the gutter of corruption. Without corruption they will be strangulated. So it their "moral" duty to protest them from any effective anticorruption law. Hence they facilitated passing of this "eyewash" bill, which they are sure won't harm them. When some of the members cracked jokes on Annaji, they became ineligible to sit in Parliament, which not a circus tent to be haunt of jokers.Congress will definately be taught a lesson in UP elections.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lavin Noronha, Paladka/Bahrain

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    Very well planned and executed drama by Congress and BJP to fool the people of this country. It would be of great interest to see now how many corrupts going behind the bars.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • George D'Souza, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011


    DisAgree [11] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dave, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    NOW the ONUS is on States to implement & show they are against Corrupt & corruption.
    Will BJP Fall in line or show their TRUE COLOUR of creating agitations with NO BENEFITS to COMMON MAN all these years(vote Bank Politics)?

    DisAgree [10] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • anna, Mangalore/mangalore

    Wed, Dec 28 2011


    DisAgree [23] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    Master stroke!! Something is better than nothing, hope for the best next time. Yeh Anna hai, dusra Mahatma Gandhi hai!!!

    DisAgree [8] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

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