Joint Lokpal Meeting Over: Govt Members ‘Agree to Disagree’; Civil Society ‘Deeply Disappointed’

M Reyaz, BeyondHeadlines

New Delhi:  The logjam over the ‘form’ of the Lokpal Bill remains even after the last meeting of the Joint Lokpal Drafting Committee today. Both sides hold their grounds on the power of the Lokpal, its selection processes, and differences over who all to come under its purview, including the Prime Minister and higher judiciary.

File photo of the Drafting Committee members (Courtesy: IndiaToday)

Member of the Drafting Committee and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told media, “we have agreed to disagree.’ Both parties have exchanged their drafts. After comments on it are received from the Civil Society, a combined draft will be circulated to all political parties before presenting it in the cabinet.

After nine meetings, in an almost inevitable scenario, there appears to be fewer consensuses, if at all.  Sibal mentioned that there are “six points” of divergence.

Prashant Bhushan, one of the Civil Society representatives, said that he was “deeply disappointed” over the forms of the draft bill, as it is at the moment.

Arvind Kejriwal too expresses dissatisfaction over PM being out of purview and separate lokpal for the centre and lokayukta for states.

Salman Khurshid has earlier tried to mollify the apprehensions over proposed Lokpal saying that it will be strong enough and satisfy majority. He said, “There is nothing which can satisfy the whole society but we are trying to come up with something that satisfies the majority of the people.”

The government has meanwhile delayed the monsoon session by two weeks, presumably to prepare well on the Lokpal bill.



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