New Delhi: Social activist Swami Agnivesh Sunday termed as "shady" the CD purportedly containing the voice of Lokpal Bill drafting committee co-chairman Shanti Bhushan discussing a dubious legal deal and questioned the motives of whoever had made it.
In an interview to a news agency, Agnivesh toed the line of his companions in calling the allegations an attempt to "derail" the process of drafting the legislation.
"You are taking up the CD as the whole truth. I am saying this whole CD is very shady. There is no author of the CD, there is no owner of the CD, whoever the person be, is such a coward person - he`s not coming out in the open to take up the ownership and why did he manufacture the CD in 2006? What was the whole motive of the conspiracy behind this," Agnivesh asked.
"I don`t take this CD at all seriously because this way, you can malign any person, any time. Knowing fully well that is some shady character has manufactured it, marketed it and floated it right on the eve of the committee meeting, instead of deriding such people, we are taking it as something sacrosanct," he said.
The CD has a voice said to be Shanti Bhushan`s speaking to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and now expelled party leader Amar Singh saying a judge could be "fixed" for Rs.4 crore. Shanti Bhushan has denied ever meeting Mulayam Singh or Amar Singh.
A former law minister, Shanti Bhushan is the co-chair of the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill while his son Prashant Bhushan is a member of the committee, which also has social activist Anna Hazare, Right to Information campaigner Arvind Kejriwal and Justice (retd) Santosh Hegde from the civil society.
"They want to derail the whole process of drafting of the legislation, fighting against corruption. We want to defeat those intension and those forces," Agnivesh said, adding that allegations have also been made against other members of the group.
"There have been allegations against each member of our civil society members, each member of our committee. Like Anna Hazare has been accused of a case in 2005, where Justice PB Sawant had questioned him or alleged corruption of Rs 2.2 lakh, somehow spent on some birthday celebration or something..." Agnivesh said.
He added that the role of the joint committee will end on June 30 and Bhushan may be punished, if found guilty, after that.
"This is for a limited period with a limited mandate to draft a legislation. The work stops on June 30 and then everybody is free to hunt them, find out whatsoever is wrong with them, punish them if they are guilty," Agnivesh added.