The Lokpal Bill is likely to be brought back in the Rajya Sabha on May 21 after the incorporation of some key amendments,including the removal of the provision for setting up Lokayuktas in states.
Official sources disclosed on Tuesday that the Union Cabinet is expected to approve the proposed changes on Thursday. The amendments have been planned by the government after consulting parties. Apart from the BJP,several parties like the JD(U),AIADMK,Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Trinamool Congress had expressed reservations about the provision for setting up Lokayuktas in the states.
Sources said a clause,which enabled any citizen to initiate the process for the Lokpals removal,is likely to be dropped. It would be replaced by a fresh provision,which would allow 100 MPs,from either House,to do so.
Salman Khurshid,Kapil Sibal,Pawan Kumar Bansal and V Narayanasamy who were holding discussions with leaders of parties discussed the proposed changes with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday night.
However,the sources said it will be possible to pass the Lokpal Bill only in the Rajya Sabha in the current session. The changed version of the Bill would require adoption by the Lok Sabha,which will have to wait for the next session as the present session is scheduled to end on May 22.
The government is trying to get a dozen-odd legislations like the Copyright Bill,Central Educational Institutions Bill,Motor Vehicles Act Amendment Bill,Whistleblowers Bill,Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill passed. A Bill for amending the BSF Act as well as another seeking to increase the age of retirement of High Court judges from 62 to 65 are unlikely to come up.