Delhi assembly passes Jan Lokpal Bill
| Saturday, December 5, 2015 - 15:09
New Delhi: The Delhi assembly on Friday passed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015, which the AAP government has described as the "strongest" anti-graft legislation in the country.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hinted another confrontation with the centre, saying that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not approve the bill, then appropriate steps will have to be taken.
"A strong law is being brought. We will go to the centre and the prime minster and urge him that the Jan Lokpal be passed," Kejriwal said in the assembly. "Agar pass nahi kia to, tedhi karni padegi," he said.
The house cleared the bill with two amendments passed by the Delhi cabinet on Thursday evening after some changes were suggested by activist Anna Hazare.
Opposition leader Vijender Gupta called the bill as "political document which was in the violation of the constitution". Kejriwal retorted it was indeed a political document but of good politics.
According to the bill, the three-member Jan Lokpal will "may proceed to inquire or investigate into the allegation of 'corruption' occurring in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
It means besides chief minister and Delhi government officials, the central government officials and others working in agencies like Delhi Police that report to the central government will come under its purview.
This could become another sticking point between the Delhi and the central governments whose relations have already hit rock-bottom.
The first amendment said a seven-member panel would select two members and chairperson in the institution of Jan Lokpal.
The original bill said the panel consisting chief minister, leader of opposition, assembly speaker and Delhi High Court chief justice will select the members and chair of Jan Lokpal.
Now, the proposed new members will include another judge from the high court, any eminent personality selected the rest of the committee members and the Lokpal chairman from the next term.
The second amendment said the Jan Lokpal would be impeached only after a high court monitored probe against the ombudsman.
The legislation will not become law till the central government approves it.