The draft Jan Lokpal Bill is likely to be discussed in the Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday as the government moves a step closer to passing the legislation. Sources in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, said final clearance from the Cabinet was likely only by the end of the week.
“The draft Jan Lokpal Bill is likely to be discussed in the Cabinet on Tuesday. It is expected to be finalised this week,” an official said.
Once it gets Cabinet approval, the government will look to convene a session of the Delhi Assembly at the Ramlila Maidan. With the government adamant over passing the Bill at the Ramlila ground, the government and police are heading for a fresh showdown over the issue. The Delhi Police has already expressed concern over an outdoor Assembly session.
“The reason for holding the session at Ramlila ground is to ensure that people can take part in the historic event,” an AAP member said.
The Lt-Governor’s office will, however, have the final say on the date, time and venue for holding such a session.
Following Cabinet approval, a request for holding the Assembly session at Ramlila ground is likely to be sent to the Lt-Governor. “A formal proposal in this regard will have to be sent by the Cabinet to the L-G, seeking his approval,” an official said.
Sources in the AAP said they would not seek any more public consultations on the Bill. “No more public consultations will be held on the Bill,” an AAP member said.
The draft Bill will seek to give a maximum punishment of life imprisonment to those found guilty of corruption. It has been learnt that the new Bill will include separate wings for investigation and prosecution. Sources said the appellate authority for decisions taken by the prosecution wing will be the High Court.
The draft of the Swaraj Bill, which aims to decentralise power, is also ready and is being examined by Urban Development Minister Manish Sisodia. “I am looking at the Bill right now. It will be sent to heads of departments soon, so that they can study it to understand what kind of changes are required to be made at their end,” he said.
The proposed legislation aims to establish ‘mohalla sabhas’ or community councils, which will ensure the participation of people in the decision-making process.
Meanwhile, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reviewing the work of various departments on Monday, Cabinet ministers are likely to review ongoing projects to look into re-appropriation of finances of various departments on Tuesday. “This essentially means that they will be working on the revised Budget estimate. The Plan and non-Plan Budget of various departments, which are lying unspent, might be re-allocated. This could be used for subsidies, which the government is expected to provide in the present financial year,” a source said.