New Delhi: Government representatives in the
Joint Drafting Committee of Lokpal Bill tonight reviewed the
progress made in framing the anti-corruption legislation and
firmed up their response to the six contentious issues over
which they have differences with civil society counterparts.
Top officials of the Law Ministry made presentation before
government representatives on inclusion of the higher
judiciary and the progress made by the Legislative Department
in drafting the Lokpal Bill based on points on which there is
an agreement between the government and Anna Hazare-led civil
"Out of 40 points, we have agreement on 36. Therefore,
it would not be fair to say that no progress has been made,"
said a government member of the Committee.
The meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee, was attended by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Law
Minister M Veerappa Moily and Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Sharp differences had come to the surface at a meeting
of the drafting committee for Lokpal bill a few days ago
with the government disfavouring proposals for inclusion of
the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and acts of MPs inside
Parliament under its purview.
Hazare, one of the members of the committee, who is
spearheading the campaign for a strong and effective Lokpal
bill, said he was not hopeful of the government meeting its
deadline of June 30 for preparing the bill.
Besides Hazare, the civil society members are
Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde, advocate Prashant
Bhushan, former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and RTI activist