SC declines early hearing on Lokpal row

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New Delhi, May 23(PTI) The Supreme Court today declinedto entertain a plea for advancing the hearing of a bunch ofPILs challenging the constitutional validity of thenotification for setting up a committee to draft the JanLokpal bill involving civil society members.

A vacation bench of justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasadrejected the plea of counsel Manohar Lal Sharma, one of thepetitioners, that the PILs should be heard at the earliest asthe panel was slated to submit its report by June 30.

"We are not inclined. Your prayer is rejected," thebench observed when Sharma during the mentioning time pleadedthat the matter be heard before June 30.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia andjustices-K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar had earlier onApril 29 declined to stay the notification but agreed toexamine the plea of the petitioners in the month of July.

The PILs have stated that the Lokpal cannot act as awatchdog over the judiciary as it would be unconstitutionaland against the basic structure of the Constitution.

Among the petitions listed before the bench, Mahan Dal,which claims to be a political party in Haryana, submittedthat a bill of vital national importance cannot be drafted inhaste or under pressure from Anna Hazare and others as itwould set a bad precedent.

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