Experts want panel to discuss Jan Lokpal bill

They, however, criticised the way of agitation adopted by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare to get his version of Lokpal (ombudsman) in the country.

“The government can bring a legislative proposal and even a minister or any member can bring the bill as private member bill, which could be considered or sent before the Standing Committee for eliciting the public opinion,” said noted Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap. But the bill has to be passed by both the Houses of Parliament to become a law, he said.

He does not concur with the methodology adopted by Team Anna to thrust their opinion on law-makers by their agitation and protest.

Kashyap said as far as the Constitution is concerned, it is clearly laid down that law-making is the function of Parliament. “How can a few group of people claim themselves to be representatives of ‘Jan’? Our Members of Parliament (MPs) are the representative of people. Sometime some bad people may get elected as MPs but still they have some representative character. These people who talk of Jan Lokpal bill have no credentials to represent Jan,” he said.

Former Delhi High Court judge Justice R S Sodhi said the government has very limited options. It cannot allow its own bill to get defeated.

“The issue has to be thrashed out in Parliament only. Let BJP MP Varun Gandhi present Jan Lokpal bill as private member bill and see how the members react to it,” Sodhi said.

Congress MP from Bareilly Praveen Singh Aron has submitted Hazare’s Jan Lokpal bill for consideration before the committee.

Former solicitor general Vikas Singh said with Anna sitting on fast, the option of sending the Jan Lokpal bill before Parliament standing committee after its presentation is not a viable option.

“He (Anna) is keeping a virtual gun on head of the government. What the government can do now is to organise a televised all-party debate where every party may be asked to take a stand on each provision of the proposed law in the presence of eminent jurists who are not activists but are known for anti-corruption crusade and let a national consensus emerge,” said Singh.

Justice Sodhi held the government responsible to a larger extent for the present crisis-like situation. “The way government acted initially by arresting and sending Anna to jail, it gave an impetus to what we see in result as mob frenzy and a bit of jam,” he said.

Sodhi called the present agitation as “bullying”. “The situation is like it is my bill or no bill. I support all your fundamental rights including your right to protest. But I am not in favour of this kind of mobocracy. May be you have gathered support of 10 or 20 lakh people. Still there is overwhelming silent majority,” Sodhi said.

‘People in power enjoying independence’
Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde on Sunday said the people in power were enjoying independence but the country has still not progressed, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

“People have become very rich, but they are the people in power not the poor of the country. Anna Hazare does not want to become the prime minister or president of the country, but wants to fight the cause of corruption,” he said.
 

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