SC won’t interfere in Lokpal drafting committee
The SC has refused to entertain PILs challenging constitutional validity of the panel.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday
refused to go into a batch of PILs challenging constitutional
validity of the notification on composition of a committee to
draft the Jan Lokpal bill, saying the petitions were
A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia posted the
matter for hearing in July.
The bench said, "The petitions are premature and can`t
be taken as the Lokpal Bill was yet to be passed."
"It is still not the law," the bench, also comprising
justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said.
The bench dealt with the three petitions separately
and passed identical orders for hearing them in July.
While dealing with one of the petitions, the bench
said, "Some of the averments in the petition are untenable in
The petitioners including some public-spirited
individuals and advocates had challenged the notification
issued by the government relating to the constitution of the
committee for drafting of the Lokpal Bill.
"We will go strictly by the law," the bench said
while adjourning the matter.
The PILs have stated that the Lokpal cannot act as a
watchdog over the judiciary as it would be unconstitutional.
Among the petitions listed before the bench is one by
Mahan Dal, which claims to be a political party in Haryana. It
has submitted that a bill of vital national importance cannot
be drafted in haste or under pressure from Anna Hazare and
others as it would set a bad precedent.
"Whether a decision affecting the whole of the nation can
be taken so suddenly without having a public debate on such a
national issue of great public importance?
"Whether the government could take an action under the
threat or pressure from one of the citizens of the country and
whether this would not create a bad precedent for future?
"Ultimately the government succumbed to the pressure of
Anna Hazare and hurriedly came out with a resolution on April
8 2011," counsel R K Kapoor had said in the petition.
The PIL alleged that the composition of the joint
drafting committee was totally partisan, arbitrary and against
The members of the committee include Union Ministers
Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, M Veerappa Moily, Kapil Sibal
and Salman Khursheed.
The civil society representatives are Hazare, Justice
(retd) N Santosh Hegde, senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan and his
advocate-son Prashant Bhushan and RTI activist Arvind
"Enactment of Lokpal would be against the spirit of
Article 50 of the Constitution of India. It will wipe out the
separation of the judiciary from the executive.
"A decision affecting the whole nation cannot be taken so
suddenly without having a public debate on such a national
issue of great public importance. The government cannot take
action under threat or pressure from one of the citizens of
the country and such succumbing to pressure tactics would
create a bad precedent for future," the petitioner had said.
It said ideally the joint drafting committee should be
expanded and finalised after seeking public opinion to include
diverse interests like women, minorities, media, academics
etc. and other known public figures of un-biased and
The second petition filed by individual Kaushal Kishore
Shukla, through counsel Jitender Singh, had sought induction
of the Leader of the Opposition in the drafting panel.
The third PIL was filed by advocate Manoharlal Sharma who
not only challenged the notification but also sought a CBI
inquiry into alleged illegal activities of Shanti Bhushan and