Monday, December 19, 2011

A fresh Lokpal Bill likely in parliament

Incorporates many amendments to pacify all
New Delhi: There is likelihood of a fresh Lokpal Bill being introduced in Lok Sabha this week – it could be either Tuesday or Wednesday – incorporating the many amendments that the government wants to incorporate after the storm raised over the parliamentary standing committee’s recommendations.
According to highly placed sources in the law ministry, it would be cumbersome to move so many amendments to the bill introduced in Lok Sabha in August. It takes too long a time in the House to move every amendment and take the approval of the House at every stage. So, the old bill will be withdrawn and the amended new text of the bill will be introduced afresh.
It is not unusual for government to withdraw a bill and bring it afresh because of too many amendments to be incorporated into the new one.
In spite of this, the opposition parties and others could move fresh amendments at the stage of discussing and passing the bill. It is the case that very rarely, an opposition member’s amendment to a bill is accepted by the government at the stage of passing it.
The law ministry source however clarified that it is the parliamentary affairs ministry that finalises the text of a bill to be introduced.
The limited inference to be drawn from this is that the government is willing to accommodate as many of the suggestions of the critics, including the opposition parties and civil society groups like that of Team Anna, into the bill so as to make it acceptable to all and which will then ease its passage in the two Houses. The government would be introducing amendments of its own as well.
While the specific amendments that are being envisaged is a matter of intelligent guessing, government sources are not able to affirm that the bill will become law at the end of the months-long stormy drama.

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