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Lokpal bill passed in Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha to take it up today

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 - 10:29am IST | Agency: ANI

A day after the Rajya Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill, paving the way for setting up of an ombudsman to battle corruption in the government and among public servants, the Lok Sabha is set to debate the same today.

A four-hour debate is expected to take place in the Lok Sabha today on the Lokpal Bill, followed by a vote on it.

The Lokpal Bill moved a step closer to enactment into law after it was passed in the Rajya Sabha yesterday following a more than five-hour-long debate that took place in an atmosphere of rare political consensus.

Replying to five-hour long debate, Law Minister, Kapil Sibal urged the states to take up this bill as a model and pass the Lokayuktas Bill as early as possible. He said the Lokpal is supposed to investigate cases of corruption against elected representatives of the public and the public servants.

Earlier, initiating the discussion on the Bill, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that his party is supporting the bill. Jaitley pointed out that there should not be religion-based reservations in the institution of the proposed Lokpal.

In Ralegaon Siddhi, anti-corruption crusader and social activist Anna Hazare welcomed the news of the passing of the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, but said he would end his fast only after the bill is passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Hazare thanked all political parties for ensuring the passage of the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha

The government has agreed to incorporate a key amendment demanded by the opposition BJP, which allows searches or raids by the CBI or police on an officer accused of corruption without notice.

The proposed anti-graft law provides for a Lokpal or national ombudsman to investigate corruption charges against public functionaries.

The Lok Sabha had passed the Lokpal Bill in 2011 to create a Central Lokayukta.

Transparency's landmark 2005 study of corruption in India found that as many as 62 percent of all citizens have had first-hand experience in paying bribes or using influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices. 

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