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dna special: UPA government mulls ordinance route to put in place strong anti-graft measures

Thursday, 2 January 2014 - 6:50am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
  • A Veeramani DNA

The UPA government is mulling to bring an ordinance to put in place a strong “anti-corruption package” as envisaged by the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Top sources here told dna, while the government was still exploring the parliamentary route to enact six strong and effective laws currently pending before the parliament, ordinance route too was being seriously debated at the highest level, keeping in view the opposition and allies blocking the passage of legislations in past two sessions.

Four of the bills pending in Lok Sabha if not enacted immediately would lapse with the tenure of the current House expiring with the announcement of election schedule. These bills are Prevention of Corruption Bill 2013, Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Goods & Services and Redressal of their Grievance Bill 2011, the Public Procurement Bill 2013 and a bill on Foreign Bribery.

In the hope to revive the winter session and pass this legislative agenda the government has not yet recommended to the president Pranab Mukherjee to prorogue the session. “We still hope better sense prevails on the opposition to allow the session to conduct business. But yes, if the House is not allowed to function, we will take alternate route to keep up our political commitments,” a senior cabinet minister told dna.

Other two proposed legislations — Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2011 and Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill 2010 are pending in the Rajya Sabha. They will not lapse as the Rajya Sabha is a permanent house.

Realising that they have run out of time to get all these legislations passed, the UPA government is planning to promulgate ordinance and let the next government get the bills passed in the parliament.

Rahul Gandhi had conveyed his wish to bring in the package of anti-corruption legislations first on December 18 in the Lok Sabha calling for “a comprehensive anti-corruption code” through these six legislations. He reiterated it again at a press conference here last Friday after a day-long session with the Congress chief ministers.

Apparently, Rahul is over busy trying to remove the tag of the most corrupt government stuck to the UPA government by sending out a message that only they have brought in the most powerful framework of laws to curb corruption.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh is reported to have directed all ministers concerned to fulfil Rahul Gandhi’s wish without any delay. However, it is not clear if six separate ordinances will be issued or the pending legislations will be clubbed into a single overarching ordinance.

Law minister Kapil Sibal is understood to be examining in consultation with other ministers, who had moved these different Bills, if they can be all put in a single ordinance.


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