Keeping PM under Lokpal ambit not advisable

New Delhi: Bringing the office of Prime Minister under the ambit of Lokpal would “not be advisable”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday.

Dr. Singh, who had earlier stated that he was personally not against the office of the Prime Minister being brought under the Lokpal’s purview, told reporters that the government has taken the decision after “taking all factors into account”.

“Well, our government has taken a view taking all factors into account. It would not be advisable to bring the Prime Minister within the purview of the Lokpal, except when he demits office,” Dr. Singh said on the eve of Parliament’s Monsoon Session. The Lokpal Bill would be introduced in Lok Sabha by August 3.

On Anna Hazare’s threat to go on a fast from August 16 to protest a “weak” Lokpal Bill, Dr. Singh said the Lokpal Bill’s fate will be decided by Parliament.

“As you know, we are ready with the Lokpal Bill. Lokpal Bill’s fate will be decided by Parliament. In a democracy, Parliament is a sovereign body, it should be allowed to function and discharge its duty,” he said.

At the July 28 Cabinet meeting which cleared the Lokpal bill, Dr. Singh had insisted that his office should be brought within the ambit of the legislation, but the Cabinet decided otherwise.

His comments came a day after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said bringing the Prime Minister under the Lokpal would result in “institutionalised permanent instability” at the Centre.