New Delhi, Jan 31 : As the union cabinet Thursday approved most of the amendments made by a Rajya Sabha select committee to the Lokpal Bill, the BJP said the government had no right to approve or reject the amendments under the rules of parliament.
"The government said they have accepted 14 or 16 amendments. It was a Rajya Sabha committee that made the amendments and the bill is a property of the Rajya Sabha. The government cannot make any amendment to it according to the rules of parliament," Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravishankar Prasad said.
He added that the government's reluctance to accept certain amendments related to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raised questions over the government's intentions.
"We gave eight suggestions to make the CBI more transparent and autonomous. They have accepted one suggestion that pertains to the appointment of CBI chief by a collegium. Besides that, the government did not accept any other suggestion, which gives a proof of government's intentions," Prasad said.
He said the BJP suggested the CBI director should have a definite term of two years and that a restriction be imposed on his employment post retirement.
"We also suggested that any CBI officer investigating a case under Lokpal should not be transferred without the Lokpal's approval. Why is the government not accepting this? This shows it is not serious about the CBI's autonomy," he added.
The Lokpal Bill, which has already been passed in the Lok Sabha, will now be presented in the Rajya Sabha for voting. It will then have to be taken to the Lok Sabha again for approval because of the amendments.