Final version of Lokpal vastly improved: Agnivesh

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 21:05

New Delhi: Social activist Swami Agnivesh
on Wednesday said the final draft on Lokpal emerging from the
Parliamentary panel was a "vast improvement" on the original
bill and left little scope for any confrontation.

He also dismissed Anna Hazare`s suggestion that the draft
report has cheated the civil society and said he will not
support the social activist during his proposed agitation next
month.

"I will not be there", Agnivesh, who has fallen out with
Team Anna, told reporters here when asked if he would join
Hazare during his agitation here on December 11.

"The final draft emerging from the Parliamentary Standing
Committee bears stamp of collective wisdom of all major
political parties and that of numerous depositions made by
citizens group. It is, therefore, a vast improvement on the
original draft introduced by the government.

He said Prime Minister`s inclusion will raise the
"credibility of Lokpal" and hoped the remaining deliberations
of the panel would help sort out the issue.

"It would be unfair not to include the Prime Minister
under Lokpal especially at a time when UPA is talking about
his impeccable integrity. If he is excluded and other council
of ministers are included, a constitutional amendment will be
required because everyone is equal under the Constitution," he
said.

"But as of now, I am optimistic about the outcome of the
standing committee and believe no confrontation like situation
will arise. This is an improved version of Lokpal," he said.

The social activist also welcomed the inclusion of NGOs,
media and corporate under Lokpal and according it a
constitutional status as per the wishes of Congress leader
Rahul Gandhi.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 21:05

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