The Lok Sabha on Tuesday night passed the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 with amendments by a voice vote following a day-long stormy debate in Parliament. The bill obtained the nod of the Lok Sabha after the government moved a few key amendments to it. Of the ten amendments moved by the government, seven have been accepted by Lok Sabha.
The amendment was decided during an emergency meeting the Prime Minister held with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders ahead of the voting in view of opposition by allies.
The amendment includes keeping the defence forces and coast guard personnel out of the purview of the anti-graft ombudsman and increasing the exemption time of former MPs from five to seven years.
However, Constitutional Amendment Bill on Lokpal was defeated. In addition, a number of amendments moved by Opposition, including corporates, media and NGOs receiving donations, were defeated.
The Lokpal Bill now needs the nod from the Rajya Sabha before being enacted as a law. The Rajya Sabha will be debating the contentious issue Wednesday.
This is the ninth Lokpal Bill introduced by the government in a series that started as early as 1968 and ended in 2001.
Seven of them lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha while one was withdrawn.
The Lokpal Bill was passed after its pros and cons were debated in the Lok Sabha for ten long hours.