The parliamentary panel examining the Lokpal bill will finish its proceedings in record time — in less than three months compared to the normal nine to 12 months that committees take.
The standing committee on law and justice is racing towards the November deadline that it has set for itself, holding two-day meetings every week since the bill was referred to it on August 8.
The proceedings are also unique in parliamentary history since it is considering a reference from Parliament on the three contentious issues that led to a face-off between the government and Team Anna — the inclusion of the entire bureaucracy within the Bill’s purview, Citizens’ Charter for public grievances under Lokpal and constitution of Lokayuktas in states.
“The committee has listened to the views of jurists, including former chief justices, bar council, prominent NGOs, chambers of commerce, commentators and other individuals. We hope to wind up hearing in the first week of November with another round of discussions with Team Anna,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, chairman of the committee.
The 31-member panel has skipped the practice of hearing political parties since all parties had spoken in the parliamentary discussion on the subject.
Despite the contentious issues that it took up, the committee has so far managed unanimity on most issues.
For instance, all opinions heard by the committee, rejected the idea of including the PM and judiciary in the purview of the Lokpal.