The Rajya Sabha today referred a bill to amend the Anti Corruption Act of 1988, to a select committee, after objections were raised by some members. The 23-member Committee headed by Anil Madhav Dhave of BJP has been asked to present the report by the last day of the first week of next session of Parliament. The resolution to refer the bill to the Committee was moved by Minister for Personnel Jitendra Singh.
The Select Committee will also include Chandran Mitra, Bhupendra Yadav (BJP), Mani Shankar Aiyar, Shantakumar Naik, Bhubaneswar Kalita (of Cong), Naresh Agarwal, K C Tyagi (of SP), Sukhendu Shekhar Roy (TMC), Navneet Krisnha (AIADMK), Satish Mishra (BSP), K N Balagopal, Praful Patel, Sanjay Rawat, D Raja, Ramdas Athawal and Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Though the Bill was introduced in the House on December 1 and was moved for consideration on December 3, the members from Opposition parties including the Congress and Samajwadi Party raised objections over certain clauses in it. According to them, some of the bill’s provisions overlap with the Lokpal Act and clarity was sought on those.
The Amendment bill provides for more stringent punishment for offences like bribery, both for the bribe giver and the bribe taker by amending the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It seeks to increase the penalty for graft to a maximum of seven years from five years now, among other new provisions to check the menace. There is also provision for the immediate disposal of corruption related cases with the trial to be completed with 2 years. It also proposes to extend the protection of prior sanction from prosecution to public servants who cease to hold office after retirement or resignation.
The Union Cabinet had approved official amendments to the Act on April 29.