Lokpal panel agrees to speed up bill drafting process

Written by: Pti
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Parliament of India
New Delhi, May 23: The negotiations on a draft Lokpal Bill today (May 23) gained momentum with Government and civil society members agreeing on a number of basic principles of the proposed law and deciding to meet more often.

Emerging from a three-hour meeting, Union Minister Kapil Sibal expressed confidence draft Lokpal Bill would be ready by June 30, as announced in a government notification, in time for introduction in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

The meeting chaired by Finance Minister Mukherjee took place in the backdrop of co-chairman Shanti Bhushan raising the issue of slow progress on drafting the bill and expressing doubts whether the June 30 deadline would be met.

He said that there was consensus on almost half of the 40 points brought to the table by the Anna Hazare's five-member team and the discussion on the same would continue when the Joint Drafting Committee meets again on May 30.

Bringing the higher judiciary and the Prime Minister within the ambit of the Lokpal were still sticking points and discussion on the same is expected to be taken up at the next meeting.

Hazare's team today presented a set of suggestions from some other civil society groups on the Lokpal Bill which also included recommendations of the public hearings on the issue held at various places across the country.

Sibal said that suggestions from other civil activists on the bill were welcome.

He said there was complete agreement on the issue of the authority of Lokpal being independent without any interference from the government. 


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