Giving Constitutional status to Lokpal not to delay

New Delhi: A day after announcing that Lokpal will have Constitutional status, Law Minister Salman Khurshid today allayed fears that the move will delay passage of the bill.

"It will not be. Let us not do everything on the basis of mistrust. Let us do it on the basis of trust…why should people have any reason to believe that if we want to give it higher status, it will be done in order to delay it," Khurshid said here. He was responding to questions on whether making Lokpal a constitutional body will delay its passage in Parliament.

The minister said the government was committed to early passage of the Bill. "Our commitment is next session (Winter session) of Parliament. Let us wait for the next session of Parliament. That`s our commitment, the Prime Minister`s commitment.

"We are working on a very strong Lokpal Bill. A Lokpal Bill that will come with a Constitutional amendment. That amendment will give the Lokpal the status of a Constitutional authority," he had told PTI last night. The Lokpal will be "more powerful than the Election Commission" and "will have far greater powers". Its profile and stature will be "much higher", Khurshid had said.