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Lokpal bill panel to meet today

The government is expected to spell out the extent to which it will accept the salient features of the anti-graft lokpal bill proposed by Anna Hazare's team in the joint drafting panel.

delhi Updated: May 23, 2011 01:52 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The government is expected to spell out the extent to which it will accept the salient features of the anti-graft lokpal bill proposed by Anna Hazare's team in the joint drafting panel.

The fourth meeting of the 10-member panel, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, will be held in the backdrop of the committee's co-chair Shanti Bhushan making public his displeasure over the slow place of drafting work.

With barely five weeks left for the mutually accepted deadline of June 30 to prepare the draft bill, other civil society groups have also stepped up pressure on the joint panel to complete its work on time.

Of the 30 main points proposed by Hazare's team, seven were discussed during the May 7 meeting at which the government indicated its willingness to move ahead on all the issues, barring bringing the Prime Minister's Office and the higher judiciary within the purview of the anti-corruption ombudsman's ambit of enquiry.

“We will request the government to give its response to the points on which it disagrees with the Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by us, and provide solutions to the issues which it thinks we have not framed properly,” said a member of Hazare's panel.

Hazare's team had proposed empowering the lokpal to receive complaints of corruption against the PM, all ministers, MPs of both houses of Parliament, all bureaucrats and judges of the SC and high courts.

"There was broad agreement over elected representatives, including ministers (being brought within the purview of the lokpal's enquiry).”