Karela Fry

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The Lokpal draft discussions

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A piece of important political information is soon going to be in the public domain. NDTV gives the background:

Between April and June, Anna Hazare’s team of activists met with the government nine times to discuss the anti-corruption Lokpal Bill. Anna and four of his nominees were inducted into a committee that paired them with five ministers. The ten members of the Joint Drafting Committee were to draft the Lokpal Bill, which creates a new ombudsman agency that will investigate complaints of corruption against government servants.

The ministers on the committee included Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, Veerappa Moily, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid. Civil society members included Anna Hazare, Justice Santosh Hedge, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal.

It took a Right to Information application by activist SC Agrawal to access the audio files for what transpired at the Drafting Committee meetings.

Meanwhile, IBNLive excerpts part of the last day’s discussion in the committee set up to draft the Lokpal bill:

Following is the excerpt from the ninth and final round of negotiations:

Pranab Mukherjee: In the henceforth I’ll place both the drafts for the consideration of the discussion. Not consideration…consideration will be done only in Parliament.

The Government will have to look into it before they give their approval for introduction.

Arvind Kejriwal: Cabinet will have to select one of them.

Pranab Mukherjee: Or combination of both.

Arvind Kejriwal: Sir, is this decision being taken now that this will be only for the Centre and we are not working on the simultaneous Bill for the states?

Pranab Mukherjee: For instance, yesterday I received the comments of Punjab Chief Minister, he has flatly stated – ‘No need of having it as we have our own act’.

Arvind Kejriwal: Sir my humble submission is, in Right To Information Act also, Central Information Commission and State Information Commission…

Pranab Mukherjee: That is your argument on why it can be done…

Arvind Kejriwal: Opinion of the states were not sought at that time.

Pranab Mukherjee: But I have decided to seek their opinion and I told it in the meeting itself.

More is promised soon.

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