Lokpal bill sent to select committee of Rajya Sabha (Second Lead)May 21st, 2012 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The much-awaited Lokpal bill was Monday sent to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha soon after being taken up for debate after a gap of more than four months.
The bill was last debated on Dec 29 last year, the last day of an extended winter session, when the house functioned till midnight but could not pass the bill.
It was taken up again on the second last day of the budget session Monday, and has now been sent to a 15-member select committee which will give its report on the first day of the last week of the monsoon session in mid-August, pushing the bill to the November-December winter session.
As soon as Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances V. Narayanasamy introduced the bill around 5.40 p.m., Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agarwal moved an amendment to send the bill to a select committee.
This irked the opposition members. who accused the government of using the SP member as a shield. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal however quoted from the rule book that any member can move a motion for sending a bill to a select committee by means of an amendment, which was backed by Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien.
The upper house then saw high voltage drama, with members from both treasury and opposition benches quoting from the rule book, arguing whether the SP member had the right to move the motion or not. However, Narayanasamy soon moved another motion to send the Lokpal bill to a select committee.
Opposition members then pointed out that no suggestion to send the bill to a select committee was made earlier, with Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley even wondering whether the government wanted a Lokpal at all.
“Let’s answer one basic question… do we want Lokpal or we don’t want Lokpal…,” Jaitley said.
“From the winter to the budget session, there was enough time to consult every one,” he said adding that the amendment sent by government at the last moment brought provisions which could not be accommodated in the constitutional structure.
“The country expects a straightforward answer instead of games being played,” the leader of opposition added.
The upper house later passed through a voice vote the motion to send the bill to a select committee.
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Tags: affairs minister, arun, budget session, deputy chairman, high voltage, last moment, leader of opposition, minister of state, monsoon session, naresh, opposition benches, opposition members, parliamentary affairs, party member, pawan kumar, public grievances, rajya sabha, Samajwadi Party, upper house, winter session