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Cabinet approves amendments to Lokpal Bill

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One of the amendments included applicability of Lokpal Bill to a state only upon passing a resolution by the state legislature.

These amendments were moved by the government on May 21 this year in Rajya Sabha before the bill was referred to a Select Committee.

After the Select Committee report was tabled last month, the official amendments have little meaning. But their approval by the Cabinet was necessary.

The other official amendments included: only government-funded NGOs to be under the ambit of the Lokpal and the appointment of Lokpal to be made by a more balanced body where the government has no upper hand.

The Select Committee has recommended delinking of creation of Lokayuktas in states from the central bill.

The controversial bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last year, faced opposition hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on various provisions, including the one making it mandatory for states to set up Lokayuktas.

The Prime Minister has been exempted from the ambit of Lokpal on issues of external and internal security, atomic energy, international relations and public order.

The Select Committee has not recommended any change in the provision relating to "reservation". The original provision said not less than 50 per cent of the members of Lokpal would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.

  

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