leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2020

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill 2018

The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in Lok Sabha. The features of the bill are:

  • Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 provided for the erection of a National Memorial in memory of those killed or wounded on April 13, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.
  • The 1951 Act also provided for a Trust to manage the National Memorial.
  • The Trust as per the 1951 Act included the Prime Minister, as Chairperson, (ii) the President of the Indian National Congress, (iii) the Minister in-charge of Culture, (iv) the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, (v) the Governor of Punjab, (vi) the Chief Minister of Punjab, and (vii) three eminent persons nominated by the central government.
  • The 2018 amendment bill removes the President of the Indian National Congress as a Trustee.
  • Further, the bill clarifies that when there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha will be the Trustee.
  • The 1951 act provided that the three eminent persons nominated by the central government will have a term of five years and will be eligible for re-nomination.
  • The 2018 bill added a clause to allow the central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of his term without assigning any reason.

The government claimed that the bill was brought in to address various deficiencies in the management of the National Memorial and to ensure that the Trust is an apolitical entity.

Lokpal Search Committee holds its First Meeting

The Lokpal Search Committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai held its first meeting and discussed modalities related to the appointments of the chief and members of Lokpal.

The other members of the committee include former chief of State Bank of India (SBI) Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson Surya Prakash, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) head A S Kiran Kumar, former Allahabad High Court judge Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, former Gujarat Police head Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala, retired IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre Lalit K Panwar and Ranjit Kumar

Supreme Court Sets a Deadline

The Supreme Court has set a February-end deadline for the search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as chairman and members of Lokpal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.

Selection of Lokpal

The names proposed by the search committee would be scrutinised by the selection committee headed by Prime Minister and comprising of Speaker of Lok Sabha, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI and an Eminent jurist to be nominated by President of India on basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee through consensus.

Upon the recommendation of the selection committee, President has nominated Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India as ’eminent jurist’ member of the panel against the vacancy arising following the death of senior advocate P P Rao.