New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Monday adopted its draft report on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill. The Committee has suggested that Lokayuktas across the states be set up within a year. It has also reportedly suggested that the Prime Minister be brought under the purview of the lokpal.

The government, based on the report, may bring the Bill in the upcoming Winter Session that begins on November 22.

In the report, Opposition party BJP has reportedly given a suggestion note against 50 percent reservations in the Lokpal. The Left, too, has reportedly given a suggestion to bring the private sector under the purview of the lokpal.

Panel recommends delinking Lokayuktas from Lokpal

A Parliamentary Committee has recommended delinking creation of Lokayuktas from the Lokpal Bill, a provision that was strongly opposed by political parties including those supporting the UPA. The Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 has, however, said the state governments will have to set up their own ombudsman through enactment of law by the state legislatures within one year of commencement of this law.

The Committee's recommendation is seen as a major concession to Opposition parties and UPA allies, which had termed the original provision as an attack on federal structure saying the state governments should be free to enact their own law regarding state-level ombudsman.

The Lokpal Bill, whose passage was stalled in Rajya Sabha during the last winter session,  had a provision that provided for appointment of a Lokayukta in every state under the central law. The Bill was  referred to the Committee in May this year for a detailed examination amidst stiff opposition over its several provisions.

The Select Committee, which adopted its draft report today, is learnt to have not recommend any changes in the provision relating to "reservation". The original provision said 'not less than 50 percent of the members of Lokpal would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.

The Committee's report said that "these provisions merely aim at providing representation to the diverse sections of the society in the institution of Lokpal..."and only indicates "the quantum of representation and not reservation".

BJP has strong reservations about the provision and is understood to have given a "suggestion note" in Monday's meeting opposing any provision for reservation in the measure.


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