Thursday, December 22, 2011

Will move amendments against certain provisions in Lokpal: BJP (rediff)

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Dubbing the Lokpal Bill introduced by the government in Lok Sabha as "weak", The Bharatiya Janata Party [on Thursday said it will move amendments against provisions like reservation for minorities, which it maintained is unconstitutional, and bringing the Central Bureau of Investigation under the ombudsman.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj  told mediapersons that the BJP has decided to move amendments when the Bill is moved for consideration and passage on December 27.

"The BJP will move an amendment motion against the provision for reservation to minorities in the Lokpal Bill. This is against the Constitution which does not provide for reservation on basis of religion," Swaraj said.

The main opposition will also move an amendment for removal of the provision in the new Bill which states "not less than 50 per cent for SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women" as the reservation cannot cross the half-way mark.

The Lokpal will be a nine member body, including the chairperson. More than 50 per cent reservation would mean five in the ombudsman would be from the reserved category.

Swaraj further argued that there cannot be reservation for Lokpal if it is a Constitutional body.

"Reservation is given either to a political body (like both Houses of Parliament, state Assemblies and Councils, Panchayats) or in government service. There is no reservation for Constitutional bodies like CEC, CVC, etc.," Swaraj said.

BJP also wants the CBI to be brought under the Lokpal. "Merely choosing the CBI director is not enough. The other CBI officials will continue to be posted and transferred by the government. We want the Lokpal to have administrative oversight and superintendence over CBI," Swaraj said.

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