`Lokpal deadline could be met if all cooperate`

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said that the government was keen on passing the bill.

New Delhi: Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the Aug 15 deadline to pass the Lokpal Bill set by social activists could be met if all cooperate, and added that the government was keen on passing the bill.

"If all political parties agree for introduction and passing, that is a welcome move. Government is anxious, it`s keen on that," Moily said in an interview to a TV channel.

"The bill can be passed, if everybody cooperates," Moily said, commenting on the deadline set by social activist Anna Hazare for passing the anti-corruption legislation.

"In fact, ultimately there is a need for harmonious convergence of views on the draft law, that`s an ideal thing which should happen," he said.
Moily is on a 10-member committee, that has five representatives from civil society and five of the government, formed to draft the anti-graft Lokpal Bill. The panel was formed after Anna Hazare went on a four-day fast, demanding the civil society`s participation in drafting the bill.

Hazare later threatened to protest again if the bill is not passed by Aug 15.

Moily added that if some parties want to take the bill to a standing committee of parliament after it is introduced, the government would not be in a position to help.
"If someone wants to pass it to a standing committee, we will not be in a position to stop it. Once it is submitted to the standing committee, it is for the standing committee to expedite it," Moily said.

"Parliament has got its own power, no government can scuttle that process. If opposition also cooperates, if they want it need not go to the standing committee or it need not be discussed and can straight away be passed, it is for parliament to consider," he added.

The monsoon session of parliament is to start in July.