Comparative version of Lokpal bill is one-sided, says Bhushan

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 08:30 AM IST
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New Delhi, June 27: Senior lawyer and civil society representative Shanti Bhushan Monday wrote to union minister Pranab Mukherjee asking him not to release the comparative version of the Lokpal bill without the consent of all members on the drafting panel.

“This chart does not present the Jan Lokpal Bill accurately… the sections from the bill have also not been fully quoted at many other places,” wrote Bhushan in a letter to Mukherjee, who is chair of the 10-member Lokpal bill joint drafting committee.

“Any person reading this chart will be completely in the dark about the provisions of Jan Lokpal bill,” he added.

Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily released a comparative Lokpal bill Friday, listing the proposed provisions of the government against those of the Jan Lokpal bill of the civil society.

Bhushan, who is among the five civil society members on the panel, said it has already been decided that both versions of the drafts would be taken to the Cabinet and to the political parties and the versions should be treated as the outcome of the joint drafting committee.

“If you wish to combine both in the form of a chart, we can make an attempt to do that also. But kindly do not release it without the concurrence of all the members,” said Bhushan’s letter.

Disagreeing with Moily’s comment that the government’s draft was the ‘real’ draft and that crusader Anna Hazare’s draft was at best a ‘dissent note’, Bhushan said both the versions were equally important.

“There were ten members on the committee. Five members endorsed one draft whereas the other five endorsed the other draft. Therefore, both the drafts enjoy equal weightage,” wrote Bhushan.

The 10-member panel was formed in April after a fast by Anna Hazare to demand a stringent anti-corruption law. The civil society members want the Lokpal bill to be passed by parliament by Aug 15 and have threatened another fast.

(With inputs from IANS)

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