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Friday, 6 January 2012

Lokpal Bill continues to be a 'jinxed' affair

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/lokpal-bill-continues-to-be-a-jinxed-affair-161987

Lokpal Bill continues to be a 'jinxed' affair
Press Trust of India, Updated: December 30, 2011 03:1

New Delhi: The Lokpal Bill has always appeared to be a jinxed affair,
the history of last 40 years shows. With the Rajya Sabha adjourning
sine die midnight amid uproar without passing the Lokpal and Lokayukta
Bill, 2011, even after day-long debate, it has once again shown that
it was so.

In fact, the strange coincidence so far was that the Lok Sabha has got
dissolved whenever Parliament has taken up the Lokpal Bill for
consideration.

This has been the case since 1968. That year, The Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Bill was introduced on May 9. It was referred to the Select
Committee of Parliament.

It was passed in the Lok Sabha as "The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill,
1969" on August 20, 1969. However, before this Bill could be passed by
the Rajya Sabha, the Fourth Lok Sabha was dissolved and consequently
this Bill lapsed.

Then on August 11, 1971 another Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill was
introduced. It was neither referred to any Committee, nor passed by
any House. It died a natural death consequent upon the dissolution of
the Fifth Lok Sabha.

Later, the Lokpal Bill was brought on July 28, 1977. It was referred
to a Joint Select Committee of both the Houses of Parliament. Before
the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee could be considered,
the Sixth Lok Sabha was dissolved and consequently this Bill also
lapsed.

The Lokpal Bill, 1985, was introduced on August 28 that year and
referred to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. However, the Bill
was withdrawn by the then government because of its inadequacy to
cover different types of situations. While withdrawing it, the
government of the day said it would later come forward with a
comprehensive legislation to deal with redress of public grievances.

The Lokpal Bill came again in 1989 as it was introduced on December
29. However, the Bill lapsed consequent upon the dissolution of the
Ninth Lok Sabha on March 13, 1991. The United Front government
introduced yet another bill on the issue on September 13, 1996. It was
referred to the department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on
Home Affairs for examination and report. The Standing Committee
presented its report to Parliament on May 9, 1997 making wide ranging
amendments to the various provisions of the Bill. Before the
government could finalise its stand on the various recommendations of
the Standing Committee, the Eleventh Lok Sabha was dissolved.

The last such measure was brought on August 14, 2001 by the BJP-led
NDA government. It was referred to the department- related
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for examination and
report but the Government bowed out of office in May 2004