Cabinet likely to approve amendments to Lokpall Billl tomorrow

New Delhi: The Cabinet is likely to consider giving post-facto approval to official amendments – including the one on delinking the formation of Lokayukta in states from the central bill – to the much-debated Lokpal Bill, tomorrow.

These amendments were moved by the government on May 21 this year in Rajya Sabha before the bill was referred to a Select Commitee.

After the Select Committee report was tabled last month, the official amendments now have little meaning. But their approval by the Cabinet is necessary.

The official amendments include: Lokayukta to be separate from the Lokpal, only government-funded NGOs to be under the ambit of the Lokpal and the appointment of Lokpal to be made by a more balanced body where the government has no upper hand.

The Select Committee too has recommended delinking of creation of Lokayuktas in states from the central bill.

The controversial bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last year, faced opposition hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on various provisions, including the one making it mandatory for states to set up Lokayuktas.

The Prime Minister has been exempted from the ambit of Lokpal on issues of external and internal security, atomic energy, international relations and public order.

The Select Committee has not recommended any change in the provision relating to "reservation". The original provision said not less than 50 per cent of the members of Lokpal would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.