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  India   All India  06 Apr 2017  Lokpal row: Congress moves privilege notice on FM

Lokpal row: Congress moves privilege notice on FM

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Apr 6, 2017, 1:29 am IST
Updated : Apr 6, 2017, 6:36 am IST

The Opposition party raised the matter after the question hour.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  (Photo: PTI)
 Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday moved a privilege notice against finance minister Arun Jaitley, accusing him of misleading Parliament on the issue of appointment of Lokpal, the anti-corruption watchdog.

The Opposition party raised the matter after the question hour.

 

“The finance minister said that the bill was pending with the standing committee. He misled the House. The bill has been cleared by both the Houses and the President has also given his approval,” Congress MP K.C. Venugopal said.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan intervened saying the matter was under her consideration, but that did not impress the Congress.

“He is such a learned lawyer. How can he mislead? You should refer the matter to the privileges committee,” Congress leader Mallikarjuan Kharge demanded.

“I cannot do it right away. I am looking into it,” the Speaker replied.

On March 29, the Opposition had unleashed a stinging attack on the government over the delay in appointment of Lokpal, a day after it had informed the Supreme Court that the anti-corruption ombudsman cannot be appointed without amending a law.

 

Even then, Mr Venugopal had strongly objected to attorney general Mukul Rohatgi’s comment in court that the existing law will have to be changed to substitute the Leader of Opposition with the leader of the single largest Opposition party in Lok Sabha, as a member of the Lokpal selection committee.

The Congress has also accused the government of weakening the agencies and institutions responsible for fighting graft and “bulldozing” laid down rules and procedures.

“The attorney general told the Supreme Court that appointment of the Lokpal has been delayed as amendment in law will have to be brought in. He is blaming Parliament for the delay. How can he blame Parliament? This is not acceptable,” Mr Venugopal said.

 

As several other Opposition lawmakers joined the Congress MP in attacking the government, Mr Jaitley intervened and said the required amendment in law was being considered by the parliamentary standing committee concerned.

When the issue was raised by Mr Venugopal in the Lok Sabha on March 29, the finance minister had said, “There is an amendment pending before the standing committee, let the report of the standing committee come expeditiously, we will follow it.”

On Wednesday, Mr Venugopal said he had moved a privilege motion because the minister “misled” the House. “Finance minister said the bill is in the standing committee, that is not true. The minister misled the House. I am seeking a privilege motion,” he said.

 

Tags: arun jaitley, sumitra mahajan, parliament, supreme court
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi