Lokpal panel members should come with open mind: Govt

Days before the Joint Drafting Committee meets for the first time to prepare a stronger Lokpal Bill, government Wednesday said members should come with an open mind.

New Delhi: Days before the Joint Drafting
Committee meets for the first time to prepare a stronger Lokpal Bill, government Wednesday said members should come with an
open mind and refrain from drawing lines beyond which they would not retreat.

"What is happening with this Committee is before the
Committee meets, everybody is giving their point of view and
suggestions and drawing lines beyond which they will not
retreat. I think it is not good for a negotiating atmosphere,"
Water Resources Minister Slaman Khurshid told reporters here.

Part of the 10-member panel set up recently, Khurshid
was apparently indicating at the tough stance adopted by the
five members of the civil society who are part of the
Committee.

"We must go with an open mind. Everybody knows the
context, everybody knows constrains. Let`s see how much of
these constrains we can overcome and how much of the context
we can understand together," he said.

He said the Committee should reach an understanding
acceptable to the people on the draft Lok Pal Bill at the
earliest.

Replying to a question on reported disagreement among
opposition parties on allowing representatives of the civil
society to be involved in drafting a legislation, Khurshid
said anybody can make suggestions and draft bills.

"Who stops anybody from drafting anything. The point
is whether, as we move forward, that can become part of the
institutional process. How that can be done is something we
will talk about.

The Committee, headed by Finance Minister Pranab
Muhkerjee and co-chaired by former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan
is meeting on Saturday.

PTI