NEW DELHI : The Congress on Wednesday filed a privilege notice against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for "misleading" the Lok Sabha on the appointment of Lokpal. Congress leader K.C. Venugopal alleged that the Finance Minister misled the House by saying that the Lokpal amendment was pending with a parliamentary committee and therefore the government was not able to make the necessary changes to appoint a Lokpal.
As per the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha will be part of the Lokpal selection panel. At present, there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, which necessitates an amendment to appoint Lokpal.
When the issue was raised by Venugopal in the Lok Sabha on March 29, Jaitley had said: "There is an amendment pending before the standing committee, let the report of the standing committee come expeditiously, we will follow it."
On Wednesday, Venugopal said he had moved a privilege motion because the Minister "misled" the House.
"Finance Minister said the bill is in the standing committee, that is not true. The Minister misled the House, I am seeking a privilege motion," he said.
Congress Leader Mallikarjun Kharge slammed Jaitley for "lying" in the House.
"He is an eminent lawyer, and he speaks a lie in Parliament," Kharge said.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan however refused to comment on the issue and said the privilege motion was under her consideration.
"The decision cannot be taken immediately. I will look at it when it comes to me," Mahajan said.