Two more Bills likely to go to select panel of Rajya Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 07, 2015

These are Prevention of Corruption and Whistleblowers Bills

One more Bill, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was sent to a select committee by Rajya Sabha as the Opposition members wanted clarity on the amendments proposed by the government to the Bill.

Another Bill, the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015, is also likely to make it to the select committee as several Rajya Sabha members wanted a greater scrutiny of the legislation, where the government is in minority. The Whistleblowers Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha.

With these two, nine Bills have been sent to the select committee by Rajya Sabha since the Narendra Modi government came to power.

Both the Bills may be considered by a single panel as there were suggestions to this effect during a brief debate on whether to send the Bills to the select committee. Assessing the mood of the House, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien told the government to prepare a motion to move the Prevention of Corruption Bill to the select committee. The debate on the fate Whistleblowers’ Bill was inconclusive. The government had taken a stand that there is no need to send the Whistleblowers Bill to the select committee since it contains no major changes from the version tabled by the UPA government.

The Prevention of Corruption Bill is to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It seeks to enhance penalty for corruption to a maximum of seven years from five. The Bill, moved by Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, was questioned by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party members.

The MPs belonging to these parties said many of the provisions of the Bill are similar to the Lokpal Bill. Many of the powers provided in the Bill are already with the Lokpal, argued SP member Naresh Agarwal. “So what is the relevance of passing this Bill when everything will be decided by Lokpal. Refer this Bill to a Select Committee,” he said.

Published on December 07, 2015
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