Civil society group welcomes Lokpal bill

New Delhi, Dec 19: Civil society group NCPRI Thursday welcomed the Lokpal bill passed by parliament, calling it a big step forward but lamenting that it still had some shortcomings.

“We welcome the bill, we believe it is a huge step forward,” said Nikhil Dey, a memeber of the National Commission for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), a civil society group which played a critical role in formulating the Right to Information Act.

“The Lokpal would be able to handle many more grand corruption cases,” he said.

Magsaysay award winning activist Aruna Roy said the Lokpal would be able to handle cases of “high-level corruption”.

“Even prime minister is under it,” she said.

The activists, however, said the biggest shortcoming in the bill was the fact that formation of Lokayuktas was left to states.

“The biggest disappointment is that formation of Lokayuktas has been left to states. We call upon all parties that supported the Lokpal bill to ensure their state governments form Lokayuktas on line of Lokpal,” said Dey.

The Lokpal bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha Tuesday and by the Lok Sabha Wednesday, shortly before the winter session was prematurely adjourned sine die.

IANS