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Anti-corruption ordinance coming soon
An ordinance similar to the long pending Lok Pal Bill is being considered by the Central Government.The ordinance will create a mechanism to deal with corruption involving high level public personalities and politicians including the Prime Minister.

In a bid to fend off opposition attack over several scams, the government has decided to bring out an Ordinance to put in place a mechanism to deal with corruption involving public personalities, including the prime minister.

The government wants to bring the Ordinance before January 25 so that it could become part of the president's address to the nation, sources said, adding it could be done even as early as Thursday when Cabinet meets.

The Ordinance will "draw heavily" from the Lokpal Bill that is being vetted by the law ministry and provides for filing of complaints of allegations of corruption against the prime minister, ministers and MPs with the Lokpal, the sources said.

According to the Bill, the Lokpal shall consist of a chairperson who is or has been a chief justice or a judge of the supreme court. It will also have two members who have either been the judges of the supreme court or the chief justices of the high courts.

The government move comes at a time when it is under severe attack from the Opposition over various major scams like that involving 2G spectrum allocation and CWG.

The decision to bring the Ordinance is in pursuance to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's assertion at the AICC Plenary last month that corruption will taken "head-on" without showing any tolerance to it.

The issue was discussed at the Congress core group meeting at prime minister Manmohan Singh's residence on December 31 last.

The meeting discussed a note prepared by the prime minister's office in the light of Gandhi's five-point action plan to fight corruption suggested in her address to the Congress Plenary.

Gandhi's plan included among other things institution of a new system of fast-tracking of all cases that concern corruption by public servants including politicians and to bring closure to such cases in a well-defined time-frame.

In his address to the Plenary, the prime minister referred to Gandhi's five-point action plan and said the government would pay careful attention to the agenda set out by Gandhi.

The draft Lokpal bill also provides that complaints against ministers and MPs should be routed through either the Lok Sabha speaker or the Rajya Sabha chairman and be heard only if they are referred by the presiding officers to it.

The Lokpal can also enquire into act or conduct of any person other than a public functionary if it is necessary for the purpose of inquiry into any allegation of corruption.

 

Source: Governance Now