Govt is hopeful of Opp. support in RS

The road for the amended Lokpal Bill in Parliament appears to be bumpy with the government ruling out any possibility of a reconsideration regarding rejection of two key demands of the select committee — that a government official should not be given an opportunity to present his or her case before a preliminary enquiry is lodged and that an official investigating a case referred by the Lokpal should be transferred with the consent of the ombudsman.

According to highly- placed sources in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the government will strongly defend its decision in the Rajya Sabha once the modified bill is presented during the forthcoming Budget Session. Even though the BJP has already objected to the two rejections the government is hopeful it will be able convince the principal Opposition party once the issue is deliberated on the floor of the House.
The DoPT has already informed the government in detail about the lengthy consultation it held with various ministries and government agencies on the key issue of transfer and posting of officials.
Even agencies like the CBI strongly advocated that transfer posting being purely administrative decisions should be kept out of Lokpal’s domain. “As a number officials in CBI come on deputation from state and other Central police organisations it will become extremely difficult to take Lokpal’s consent before every transfer as the work of the parent cadre will suffer if Lokpal denies permission. This kind of scenario is unacceptable in government functioning,” a senior government functionary remarked.
The government has already rejected the possibility of having a dedicated cadre or investigative wing for the Lokpal. So the government will argue that transfer and posting of officers should be at the discretion of both the Centre and state governments so that their work is not hampered. On the issue of giving government servants a chance to present their case before a Preliminary Enquiry is initiated the government will argue in Parliament that an official cannot be assumed guilty merely on basis of some prima facie information.

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