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Govt racing against time for Lokpal bill

Law Minister Salman Khurshid said several top government officials have not slept since last three days and have been working on the bill round the clock

As the winter session of the Parliament is about to end soon, the government is racing against time to introduce the Lokpal Bill in the House.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that several top government officials have not slept since last three days and have been working on the bill round the clock. "I hope they go home today," Khurshid told reporters after a meeting with key cabinet ministers, which was held to finalise the draft.


Not up to the mark: Standing Committee Chairman on Lokpal Abhishek
Manu Sanghvi displays the copy of the draft that was presented before
the house earlier this month. File pic


The government has formed a team of top cabinet ministers, all of them lawyers, to finalise the draft. The ministers -- P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, V Narayanswamy and Salman Khurshid -- met during the day for over two hours to give final touches to the draft. 

Once ready, it is likely to be scrutinised by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

According to sources, the draft, after being Okayed by the Prime Minister, will be presented in the special cabinet meeting, which may be called today. Finally, the bill will be introduced in the Parliament  by Wednesday.

While there are chances that the government may extend the winter session, Khurshid denied any such possibility.

According to sources, government may bring Prime Minister within the Lokpal ambit and may propose that although Group C bureaucrats would be under the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Lokpal would supervise them.
Also, a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Lokpal will appoint the CBI director.

Sources add that government will also propose about 50 per cent reservation for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in the Lokpal.

Did you know?
The government has formed a team of top cabinet ministers, all of them lawyers, to finalise the draft. These ministers include P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, V Narayanswamy and Salman Khurshid

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