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Define corruption: SC commission on Lok Pal

New Delhi: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has suggested expanding the definition of the term corruption in the proposed Lokpal Bill by including issues like non utilisation and diversion of funds from schemes meant for the welfare of STs and SCs.

It has also suggested that no judge or the Chief Justice should be eligible for appointment in Lokpal panel if he has "passed adverse judgement on important dalit issues". In a communication sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel scrutinising the Lokpal Bill, the Commission is learnt to have said issues like non earmarking of funds under Scheduled Caste sub plan and tribal sub plan in proportion to respective population should also fall under the definition of corruption. The decision to suggest broadening the definition of graft was taken at a meeting of the full Commission held recently.

"…Non formulation of schemes exclusively for the benefit of SC, ST; non utilisation of funds; diversion of these funds for schemes other than welfare of SC/ST, deprivation of rights and safeguards provided in the Constitution and other laws passed by Parliament and state Assemblies and official orders and notifications" be brought ambit under the definition of corruption, the Commission has told the Standing Committee.

It has also suggested that in the prescribed qualifications, a provision should be added that Lokpal or its members "must be free from caste bias". Commission Chairman P L Punia had recently appeared before the Parliamentary panel.

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