Gaps in bill brought by UPA causing delay in Lokpal, says Jitendra Singh
Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said the Lokpal bill brought by the previous UPA government was drafted in a haste and had a number of gaps, which is causing delay in its implementation.
His assertion assumes significance as the Supreme Court had recently observed that the proposed Lokpal is a "workable piece of legislation" and it was not justifiable to keep its operation pending.
Dispelling suggestions from certain quarters that the Lokpal Bill has been delayed under the present government, Singh said, the matter of fact is that the bill brought by UPA-II "was drafted in a haste, which left a number of gaps".
For example, there was no clarity that in the absence of a recognised Leader of Opposition who would replace him as member of selection committee to choose chief and members of Lokpal, he said.
Similarly, the tenure for the appointment of the jurist member in the selection committee was left undefined, said the Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office.
In order to overcome these pitfalls, he said, the Lokpal amendment bill was brought in Parliament but on the advice of all the parties, including from the Opposition like Congress, it was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, and hence the delay.
"Now that the bill has been sent by the Standing Committee with its recommendations, the follow up will be done accordingly," Singh said, addressing an event organised by Central Vigilance Commission.
He said that "incorruptibility" is the ultimate remedy against corruption.
"The final goal in the drive against corruption cannot be achieved simply by eradication of corruption but by achieving a state of mind which is incorruptible," he said.
In the last three years, Singh said, the approach of the Modi government has been two-fold -- an approach towards zero corruption and adequate protection to officials who perform their duty with diligence and competence without indulging in any unethical or corrupt practices.
Citing some examples, he said, beginning January 1, 2016, under the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the "courageous" decision to abolish the practice of holding interviews for selection to junior-level and non-gazetted posts was taken.
"This single decision has gone a long way in checking nepotism and favouritism in appointments and has at the same time, also brought about considerable saving to the public exchequer," he said.