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Cabinet defers decision on anti-graft ordinances

Friday, 28 February 2014 - 3:42pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The much-anticipated anti-graft ordinances being pushed by Rahul Gandhi were put off by the Union Cabinet on Friday.

The Cabinet, which met for nearly two hours, decided to postpone the ordinances amid speculation that its special meeting could be held early next week on the issue. There was, however, no official word on it by the government.

As soon as the Cabinet had taken up the packed agenda for the day, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth announced that items relating to the ordinances stand "postponed", sources said. They said ordinances on Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill and Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill – both dealing with corruption – were on the agenda.

These are among the anti-corruption bills being pushed by Rahul Gandhi to create a "framework" to fight graft.

These proposed legislations could not be passed during the extended Winter Session of Parliament due to disturbances.

Along with these, the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, Rights of Persons with Disability Bill, Security Laws (Amendment) Bill and Delhi High Court Act (Amendment) Bill were also on the agenda.

The Law Ministry had sent notes with all the ordinances on whether the reasons given by various ministries to promulgate the executive orders were acceptable to the Union Cabinet. The reason was that often ordinances have to withstand judicial scrutiny.

As Parliament session came to an end on February 21 and five of the six anti-graft measures being spearheaded by Gandhi failed to see the light of the day, the Congress Vice President had launched a blistering attack on the Opposition and had said that he would discuss with the party leadership regarding the option of ordinance route to push the measures.

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