PM rules out inclusion of higher judiciary in Lokpal

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

NEW DELHI: Asserting that he has no hesitation in subjecting himself to the jurisdiction of Lokpal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today ruled out inclusion of higher judiciary within the ambit of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Bringing higher judiciary under the jurisdiction of the Lokpal would be contrary to the Constitutional scheme of things, he said while voicing confidence that a national consensus would be evolved on the proposed Lokpal Bill.

He told a group of editors here that his Cabinet colleagues were of the view that bringing the institution of Prime Minister under Lokpal would create an element of instability which, at times, can go out of hand.

“I, for one, have no hesitation in bringing myself under the purview of the Lokpal,” he said.

Affirming that he was not saying “anything one way or the other”, he said that the office of the Prime Minister was covered by anti-corruption Act in any case. Any person holding this office was a “24-hour servant of the people” who can be removed by Parliament through a vote of no confidence.

There were divergent opinions on the subject in the country, he said, adding that he would like to be “guided” by political parties.

Singh pointed out that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, who had both favored keeping the office of Prime Minister out of Lokpal’s purview, had already given their views. -PTI

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