Hazare rejects meeting Ministers' committee over Lok Pal Bill

Hazare rejects meeting Ministers' committee over Lok Pal Bill

In his letter to Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy, Hazare has demanded setting up of a joint committee comprising people who are fighting corruption and representatives of government rather than "layers and layers of committees" of ministers.

"How can we expect a group of Ministers, whose interests would be directly and adversely affected by the enactment of a strong anti-corruption law, be solely entrusted with the job of drafting such a law," Hazare said.

After Hazare met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier this month, Narayanasamy had invited him to discuss Lok Pal Bill with a sub-group of the larger Group of Ministers (GoM).
The group comprised of Defence Minister A K Antony, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Narayanasamy.

The Lok Pal Bill put forth by the Government has come under criticism for not having any powers to either initiate action suo motu in any case or even receive complaints of corruption from general public.

Several eminent citizens like Karanataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegdge, lawyer Shanti Bhushan among others drafted their version of the Bill -- Jan Lok Pal Bill which they presented to the Government. Hazare is pressing that people who drafted Jan Lok Pal bill should be taken on board before finalising the proposed legislation in Parliament.
In his letter to the Government, Hazare said this very group (of Ministers) had drafted the Government's version of Lokpal Bill, which appears to be meant to protect the corrupt rather than punish them. He said there are doubts whether the GoM would even suggest a strong anti-corruption law.

"I have already written two letters to the Prime Minister after my meeting with him, suggesting the above process. However, I am yet to receive any reply from him. If the government does not take these steps, I will proceed with my fast starting from 5th April," he said