Published On: Thu, Dec 19th, 2013

Much-awaited Lokpal Bill becomes a reality after 46 years

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After eight unsuccessful attempts in the span of 46 years, India finally got the much-awaited Lokpal Bill on Wednesday. The parliamentarians took the historic step of enacting the ombudsman law by which an anti-corruption watchdog would be established that will have in its purview even the office of the Prime Minister.

The landmark bill was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday a day after the Rajya Sabha passed it on Tuesday. The Samajwadi Party vehemently opposed the bill in both the Houses and staged a walkout, however, it didn’t affected the smooth passage of the bill in Parliament as every other parties especially the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongly advocated for it.

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2013, was passed by voice vote amid din created by members from Seemandhra region who were protesting against division of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana state.

Activist Anna Hazare ended his nine-day long fast at Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra after the Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill, however, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) termed the Lokpal legislation as a “welcome bill” for corrupt politicians.

“It is a bad day for social activism in the country. It is a welcome bill for every corrupt politician,” AAP leader Kumar Vishwas told a news agency.

The bill was pending in the Rajya Sabha for almost two years as opposition members had reservations on the draft passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2011.

A select committee examined it in detail and gave its recommendations, many of which were incorporated in the amended bill, tabled in the Rajya Sabha last week.

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