The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, pending before the Rajya Sabha for long, provides for more stringent punishment for the offences of bribery, both for the bribe giver and the bribe taker by amending the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

It seeks to enhance penalty for graft to a maximum of seven years from five years now, among other new provisions to check the menace.

When the bill was moved in the House on December 3, Opposition parties including Congress and Samajwadi Party had advocated caution on the measure saying the new law, instead of checking the menace, will increase corruption and make elected representatives more vulnerable.

Soon after the discussion began today, Naresh Agrawal of Samajwadi Party said powers vested by amendments, which the government wants to bring in the bill, have already been given to Lokpal by the Supreme Court.

"So what is the relevance of passing this bill when everything will be decided by Lokpal. Refer this bill to a Select Committee," he said. The SP member went to the extent of saying "I am not in agreement with Lokpal. My party is also not in agreement with Lokpal. This will create a parallel system."

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