A conference on Lokpal on Sunday felt that the higher judiciary should be kept out of the proposed law against corruption but was divided on bringing the Prime Minister under its ambit.
The Round Table meeting, which was attended by two former chief justices of Supreme Court and four members of the Lokpal drafting committee, including retired apex court judge Santosh Hegde among others, felt there should be a separate mechanism to deal with any instances of corruption in the higher judiciary.
Speaking to mediapersons after taking part in the day-long round table conference, under the banner of Citizens for Public Accountability(CPA), retired Supreme Court chief justices MN Venkatachalaiah and JS Verma said, “Judicial accountability has to be there but not as part of Lokpal. To curb the corruption in the higher judiciary, a better mechanism is required.”
Claiming that the round table had a consensus over the issue of higher judiciary be kept out of Lokpal, the retired judges said the civil society representatives in the joint committee to draft the Lokpal bill felt the same way.
However, on the issue as to whether Lokpal should have jurisdiction over the PM, they said there were differences of opinion among the participants and that the issue should be left to Parliament for consideration.
"We believe that he (Prime Minister) should be accountable only politically looking into the instability in the state and its international ramifications. However there was divergent opinions...," they said.