SC no to immediate hearing on petition on Lokpal
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 19:17
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to give immediate hearing on a petition seeking to restrain the government from circulating the draft of the proposed Lokpal Bill to parliamentarians.

A vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam Reddy and A K Patnaik said the matter of the Lokpal bill is still under discussion and there is no need to interfere at this stage.

"It is still under discussion. Why should we discuss here at this stage? Let them solve it first, then it would come before us," the bench said asking the petitioner M L Sharma to get the matter listed after the summer vacation.

The bench said it is the right of parliamentarians to discuss the draft Bill. Its remarks came while negating the submission of the petitioner that it was against the established law.

"Do you think that the draft would be made law before Monday? We do not know when it would be solved. If it is solved, then we are ready to sit on Saturday," the bench said.

The apex court's remarks came after Sharma submitted that the Joint Drafting Committee was not a legal advisory committee to draft a Lokpal Bill but is a parallel committee for consideration of a civil society petition on Lokpal Bill.

"Civil society petition committee is deciding policy and preparing the final report with pre-consent of the members of parliament to put it in the House. cannot be said to be an advisory committee by any stretch of law," the petitioner said.

He further submitted that as per law, Secretary General of the House receives the proposed draft Bill. After that, the House standing committee evaluates, arranges and prepares and introduces a bill on the floor and the Joint Drafting Committee can not violate it.

"Respondent's action to circulate and give up petition of the civil society members either to the cabinet or among the members of parliament is a serious violation of the rule framed under Article 118," the petitioner alleged.

Article 118 of the constitution elaborates the rules and procedures for conduct of business of parliament.

He further requested the court to "prohibit the respondent to accept /circulate draft petition of civil society member among members of Parliament for their approval as contrary to the existing rule of the Lok Sabha".

The petitioner further requested the bench to declare the "respondent's action as a fraud upon judicial proceedings, parliament as well as upon the constitution".


First Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 19:17

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