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Lokpal appears headed for joint Parliament session: Bedi

With numbers stacked against government in Rajya Sabha for passage of Lokpal Bill, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi today said the legislation appeared headed for a joint session of Parliament as the Upper House may pass a version different from the one passed in Lok Sabha. 

"It looks like we will have two different bills passed in two houses. Is Lokpal Bill heading towards a joint session? Result is still unpredictable," Bedi said. If different versions of the bill are passed and one of the Houses refuses to accept the amendment by the other, the President can summon a joint session of the two houses which is presided over by Lok Sabha Speaker. The bill can be passed by simple majority. 

Till now, three bills -- Dowry Prohibition Act (1961), Banking Service Commission Repeal Bill (1978) and Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (2002) -- have been passed in joint sessions. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 was passed by a voice vote late last night after government moved ten official amendments taking into account the demands raised by Opposition parties and allies. 

In 245-member Rajya Sabha, the government side does not have the requisite number to get the bill passed. Bedi also expressed hope that the BJP will introduce the key amendment of CBI's administrative control out of government. On conferring Constitutional status for Lokpal, which failed to get the requisite two-third majority in Lok Sabha, she said it was a "deliberate diversionary tactic" by Congress. "Congress knew it did not have the numbers," she claimed

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