Par panel begins finalising report on Lokpal bill

New Delhi: The Parliamentary panel examining the Lokpal Bill on Monday began finalising its report with a large section of members favouring enacting a single law to set up the anti-corruption ombudsman at the Centre and the states.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and, Law and Justice was also veering towards recommending lowering punishment for filing frivolous complaints against public servants with the proposed Lokpal.

Many members were learnt to have favoured treating such complaints on the lines of contempt of court proceedings.

While the Lokpal Bill seeks to have provision of imprisonment of not less than two years for persons filing false or frivolous complaints. It also seeks to impose a fine of Rs 25,000 to Rs two lakh against such persons.

But Committee members were understood to have supported imprisonment of upto six months and a penalty of upto Rs one lakh on the lines of the contempt of court proceedings.

The same committee had recommended reducing the punishment for the Whistleblowers Bill and the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill on frivolous and false complaints. The Committee members also discussed the inclusion of Judiciary and transfer of CBI`s investigative wing in the Lokpal.

Meanwhile, RJD`s Lalu Prasad wanted the Committee to take cognizance of Anna Hazare`s frequent threats to launch a campaign if his Janlokpal Bill was not made into a law by Parliament.

Committee Chairman Abhishek Singhvi is understood to have made it clear that the panel was not working under anybody`s pressure and there was no need to take congnizance of Hazare`s threats.