New Delhi: A PIL petition challenging the
Constitutional validity of inclusion of five civil society
members in a committee to draft a Lokpal Bill was on Monday filed
in the Supreme Court.
The PIL, filed by an advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, has
also sought a CBI probe into activities of prominent lawyers,
Shanti Bhushan and his son Prashant Bhushan, who are members
of the committee and contempt proceedings initiated against
them for "systematically engaged" in denigrating the
The petition submitted that the notification
constituting the 10-member Joint Drafting Committee, was
contrary to the Constitutional provision of Article 53 as the
power to issue such notification belonged only to the
President of India.
It said the notification was also violative of Article
118 of the Constitution under which only Parliament has the
privilege of setting up a committee comprising MPs.
"Hence the impugned notification is out of
jurisdiction and unconstitutional and is liable to be quashed
with immediate effect," the petition said.
According to the petition, no politician, committee or
social worker have a right to take part in the drafting of the
bill though every citizen`s view ought to be ascertained by
way of notification at the time of drafting a Bill.
The petition claimed that power has been delegated to
the Legislature for drafting a Bill for which it was required
to be published in the daily newspapers for inviting public
"Therefore instead of publishing for general public it
cannot be handed over to five people for redrafting and
convert it into a Law," the petition said.
The petition, among other things, listed the
involvement of the Bhushans in the alleged purchase of a
property in Allahbad worth Rs 20 crore for a measly Rs one
lakh by undervaluing the sale deed.
The Bhushans have denied the charge saying their
family had been a tenant in the house for over 70 years and
had on their own paid duty much higher than what was claimed
from them by government.
The PIL urged the apex court to issue "appropriate
writ direction for quashing the impugned notification
dt.8.4.2011 couple with further direction for CBI
investigation and judicial inquiry for further prosecution of
the Bhushans for professional misconduct and others offences.
The members of the civil society in the drafting
committee are--Shanti Bhushan as co-chairman,Prashant Bhushan,
Anna Hazarey, retired apex court Justice Santosh Hegde and