New Delhi: A move to grant constitutional status to Lokpal has gained momentum with a Parliamentary Committee considering a draft legislation to this effect with a provision which will not require ratification by states.
The draft constitutional amendment bill prepared jointly by two former Chief Justices of India - Justice J S Verma and Justice M N Venkatachalaiah - proposes provisions on the lines of Election Commission.
The draft Constitutional (116th) Amendment Bill was submitted to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel by the former CJIs last week.
AnnaHazare with Arvind Kejriwal . PTI.
Law minister Salman Khurshid had disclosed for the first time to PTI last week that the proposed Lokpal will have the status of a constitutional authority for which purpose the Constitution will be amended, a move which is in line with the suggestion made by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
“We are working on a very strong Lokpal Bill. A Lokpal Bill that will come with a constitutional amendment. That amendment will give the Lokpal the status of a constitutional authority,” he had said.
The Lokpal will be “more powerful than the Election Commission” and “will have far greater powers,” the minister had said.
Justice Verma told PTI that the amendment bill can be passed in a “single day, even on the first day of Winter Session”, allaying fears that the constitutional amendment could delay the setting up Lokpal as claimed by Team Anna.
Describing the draft bill as as an “important idea”, Committee chairman Abhishek Singhvi said, “This is part of the continuing process of getting direct inputs from diverse sections of society. It will be thrashed out. As far as nitty gritty is concerned, it will be when the committee starts its internal deliberations.”