Arab Today, arab today indian cabinet expected to approve antigraft bill
Last Updated : GMT 06:37:29
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Indian cabinet expected to approve anti-graft bill

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Indian cabinet expected to approve anti-graft bill

New Delhi - Arabstoday

India\'s cabinet was expected to approve on Tuesday a landmark anti-corruption bill which was the focus of nationwide demonstrations in August that rocked the government. An official in the prime minister\'s office said the cabinet meeting had been scheduled for 2pm. The new legislation would create a powerful new \"Lokpal\" or ombudsman tasked with probing and prosecuting senior politicians and civil servants suspected of graft. In August, veteran Indian activist Anna Hazare held a 12-day hunger strike to protest against an initial draft of the bill, saying it was a toothless measure incapable of curbing the rampant corruption it was meant to target. His campaign brought millions of ordinary Indians onto the streets in cities across the country, in a national outpouring of anger and frustration at the culture of bribery and kick-backs that permeates every level of Indian society. The public response was a shock for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh\'s coalition government, which has been tainted by a series of high-profile corruption scandals. The precise details of the bill to be discussed by the cabinet on Tuesday are not known. The main dispute has been over who would fall under the ombudsman\'s ambit, with the Hazare campaign insisting that it should include the prime minister, the judiciary and lower-level civil servants. Hazare has threatened a second hunger strike beginning December 27 if the final version of the bill presented to parliament falls short of his demands. Time is running out, with the current parliamentary session scheduled to close on Wednesday, although there have been reports that the government would consider a one-week extension.

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