Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal bill
New Delhi – The Rajya Sabha Tuesday passed the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, which provides for creation of an anti-corruption ombudsman.
The most prominent of the group of anti-graft bills on the anvil, the Lokpal bill establishes a Lokpal at the central level and asks states to establish Lokayuktas in a year’s time from the date of notification of the law. The format of the Lokayukta will be left to the state assemblies to decide.
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha at the fag end of the winter session of 2011, but not by the Rajya Sabha, where it was debated but the house was adjourned before voting on it.
A select committee of the Rajya Sabha suggested changes in the bill which were incorporated and approved by the union cabinet.
Now the bill will again have to be sent again to the Lok Sabha for approval! of the changes.
Concluding the debate on the bill, Law Minister Kapil Sibal called it a historic moment, but stressed that corruption could not be removed by the Lokpal alone.
“Law alone will not lead to elimination of corruption. Law will help deal with those who are corrupt, but it will not deal with the impetus to be corrupt. It will just be a deterrent,” he said.
He also said government will also deal with the “supply side” of corruption, as pointed out by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), saying a bill amending Prevention of Corruption Act, pending with Lok Sabha, provides to deal with the source of bribe.