NEW DELHI, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Lower House of Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) Wednesday passed the historic Lokpal ( Ombudsman) Bill, a day after the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) approved the anti-graft measure in an atmosphere of rare political consensus.
After a debate, the Lok Sabha passed the bill with the amendments adopted by the Rajya Sabha Tuesday. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will now have to sign the bill into law.
"This is historic," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, after the passage of the bill.
Earlier, during the debate in the Lok Sabha, India's ruling Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi urged all the political parties to pass the amended Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011.
The country's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Leader in Lok Sabha said that the debate session would become historical if the Lokpal Bill was passed.
However, the ruling coalition United Progressive Alliance's ally, the regional Samajwadi Party of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, walked out during the debate and its leader Mulayam Singh flayed both the Congress and the BJP, saying "they are trying to prove that only they are honest and everyone else is dishonest."
Meanwhile, veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare, who had been fasting unto death for a stronger anti-corruption bill, also hailed the passage. "All parties who supported this Lokpal Bill for the benefit of the society and the country, I thank them," he said.
"Some 40 to 50 percent of the corruption can be controlled through this bill. The poor will get justice," added Hazare before breaking his latest fast, nine days before starting it at his village Ralegan Siddhi in the western state of Maharashta.
The Lokpal, meant at curbing corruption, once constituted will have powers to investigate all civil servants, including the Prime Minister with subject matter exclusions. Moreover, the probe has to be completed within 60 days and the final investigation within six months.
Indian Parliament's Upper House passes historic Ombudsman Bill
NEW DELHI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Upper House of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Tuesday passed the historic anti-corruption Lokpal (Ombudsman) Bill, at an atmosphere of rare political consensus by almost all major political parties.
"The landmark bill has been passed after a debate in the Upper House ," Indian Law Minister Kapil Sibal told the media in the national capital. Full story