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Lok Sabha creates history, passes Lokpal Bill


December 27, 2011 - New Delhi

The much-awaited Lokpal Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday evening after certain amendments.

The anti-graft bill was passed by voice vote even as the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Left and the Samajwadi Party walked out of the House.

Asserting that the nation awaits with bated breath how the collective wisdom of this House will be reflected in the vote at the end of the debate on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh earlier in the day urged the leaders of all parties to rise above partisan politics to demonstrate to the people of India that the Lok Sabha is committed in its effort to combat corruption.

Dr. Singh in his speech made inside the Lok Sabha today said: "There are some very special moments in the life of a nation. This is one such moment. The nation awaits with bated breath how the collective wisdom of this House will be reflected in the vote at the end of the debate on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011. The broad provisions of this Bill have been vigorously debated both in the public domain and by political parties.

"It is my honest belief that the Bill that is now before the House lives up to the promise that members of this House collectively made to the people of this country by way of the sense of the House at the end of the debate on 27th August, 2011. The task of legislation is very serious business and must eventually be performed by all of us who have been constitutionally assigned this duty. Others can persuade and have their voices heard. But the decision must rest with us," he added.

Emphasising that the government held a wide range consultations ahead of drafting the Lokpal Bill, Dr. Singh said: " At the same time we must keep in mind the fact that corruption and its consequences eat into the body politic. We have seen how public anger has manifested itself in the last one year. Let us, therefore, endorse this Bill as proposed. In drafting this legislation we have had a wide range of consultations."

"We have been enriched by the wisdom of political parties and all shades of opinion have been taken into account," he added.

The Prime Minister further said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should function without interference through any Government 'dictat', but no entity should be created which has 'onerous executive responsibilities without any accountability'.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had also echoed similar sentiments as the Prime Minister, and said that the legislation on the Lokpal Bill must be done on the floor of the House.

"The debate has been lively. Various points have been covered. The government has not moved in undue haste. For last six months, we are debating this issue inside the House. Country is agitating and debating this issue outside the House. They are the decision-makers, not suggestion-givers," said Mukherjee.

ANI

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