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Indian Parliament debates anti-corruption bill
December 17, 2013, 8:09 am

Thousands of Indians took to the streets to push for strong anti-graft legislation [AP]

Thousands of Indians took to the streets in 2011 to push for strong anti-graft legislation [AP]

The upper house of the Indian Parliament is debating a new anti-corruption bill (Lokpal bill).

The Lokpal Bill sets up an independent ombudsman to investigate corruption charges against public functionaries, both politicians and civil servants.

The lower house of the Indian Parliament had passed an earlier version of the bill in 2011.

The version of the bill that is being debated on Tuesday has been amended on the basis of a report of the Upper House of the Parliament.

The Bill is likely to be approved soon by the Upper House and sent back to the lower chamber for fresh passage.

“The Lokpal Bill is the highest priority of the government. It is a historical Bill for the country…The nation needs it… We want both the Houses of Parliament to pass it in this session,” said India’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.

Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has led a campaign for the measure using hunger strikes.

The Congress-led government has said it is willing to extend the winter session of parliament to get the bill passed.

A bill to create a ombudsman with powers to root out corrupt officials in India was first proposed in 1968. Thousands of Indians had taken to the streets in the summer of 2011 demanding the creation of this powerful ombudsman’s post.


TBP and Agencies