Lokpal Bill panel to resolve differences at all-party meet

The government representatives and civil society members of the Joint Drafting Committee on the Lokpal Bill decided on Monday to resolve the differences at the next stage of wider consultations with political parties.

The government has decided to call an all-party meeting in July to draw out their opinion in the Lokpal Bill and the divergence of opinions in the before givingĀ  a final shape to the Bill and presenting it to the Cabinet. They apparently wanted to part amicably on the concluding day of the meeting on Tuesday, whether or not they bridged the gap on the six contentious issues.

There will be no more meetings after Tuesday, when both sides will exchange their drafts and submit their comments. Further exchange of views will be made through e-mails, and a common draft will be presented along with the divergence of opinions on various issues.

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, who is also a member of the committee, said the proceedings were non-acrimonious, friendly. The differences would be spelt out, and the areas of divergences and alternatives would be presented for being resolved through the political process to be initiated in July. On the basis of the all-party meeting, the draft Bill would be presented to the Cabinet.

Anna Hazare too claimed the proceedings to be good and said they were conducted in a cordial atmosphere.

The contentious issues remained. As a matter of fact, only the issues relating to the structure of Lokpall Bill was discussed in the meeting. Other issues such as inclusion of the office of the Prime Minister, the Judiciary and the conduct of MPs in Parliament under the ambit of the Lokpal did not come up for discussion at all.

Lokpal Bill panel to resolve differences at all-party meet

Report by Alka