Monday, April 18, 2011

Anna Hazare:PIL challenges legality of Lokpal committee

No one expected an easy going for the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill but it seems the road ahead is getting increasingly treacherous. On Monday, the very basis of existence of the 10-member joint committee which has members of civil society as members was challenged in the country’s apex court.

Advocate M L Sharma and others filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court contending that inclusion of five civil society members in the committee, which also has five ministers, is constitutionally flawed as a parliamentary committee must comprise only members of Parliament and no one else.

Hence, the petitioners are demanding that the notification on Lokpal committee be quashed.

The PIL also sought a probe into the controversial CD purportedly carrying audio clippings of a telephone conversation between committee co-chair and civil society memer Shanti Bhushan, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh about influencing a judge.

Clearly, the anti-corruption crusade is headed for a showdown not just with regards to the redrafting of the Lokpal Bill but also in view of the accompanying legal battles.

As Anna Hazare said, the battle has been won but the war will continue.

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