Lokpal Bill Co-Chairman Shanti Bhushan in CD Controversy

Tarique Anwar, BeyondHeadlines

New Delhi: Adding a new chapter in Lokpal Bill issue, the candidature of Shanti Bhushan, veteran lawyer, former union law minister and co-chairman of the new committee formed as a result of Anna Hazare’s recent hunger strike to draft a law on corruption, has come under scanner after a new CD controversy.

The CD sent anonymously to media houses has audio clippings of a telephone conversation allegedly between Shanti Bhushan, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh about influencing a judge. The voice of a man purported to be Shanti Bhushan suggests that a judge can be bribed. A voice, purportedly his, says his son, Prashant Bhushan, who is also a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court, can do this for four crores. Prashant Bhushan is also on the Lokpal Drafting Committee along with RTI campaigner Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare.

Shanti Bhushan with Anna Hazare (Courtesy: The Hindu)

Talking to a news channel, Prashant Bhushan said that while the voice on the CD may be his father’s, it needs to be tested at a forensic lab and that different conversations seems to have been spliced together to create a false narrative. He said that his father has never met Amar Singh.

Prashant Bhushan believes this is “a concerted campaign” to smear the representatives of civil society that will work alongside five ministers to draft the Lokpal Bill. He described the CD as “fabricated” and said he has lodged a police case to determine who has created and circulated it.

He said that “it certainly appears to be a motivated, mallicious campaign to derail the draft of the Lokpal bill.”

The Bhushan family has filed an FIR questioning the authenticity of the alleged CD.

Shanti Bhushan with civil society members rubbished the allegations, saying that an FIR had already been filed against the alleged property scam.

Taking advantage of the situation, Congress spokesperson Digvijay Singh had targeted Shanti Bhushan yesterday for evading stamp duty worth Rs 1.33 crore for the property purchased in Allahabad.

Amar Singh reacted to the allegation saying that the CD was fabricated.

All members of the Lokpal Draft Panel declared their financial assets yesterday evening.

Anna Hazare claimed that he owns 2.53 hectares of land, has Rs 67,000 as bank deposit and just Rs 1500 in hand. Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan has eight immovable assets in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bangalore and his total movable asset is more than Rs 121 crore. Prashnat Bhushan has property in Delhi, Himanchal and Allahabad and immovable assets valued at more than Rs 2.2 crore.

Arvind Kejriwal owns a plot near Delhi valued at Rs 55 lakh and other assets worth less than Rs 1.5 lakh.

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