Row takes focus off bill, Hegde says he may quit
Barely 10 days after it was set up, the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill seemed to be in serious trouble on Thursday, with justice Santosh Hegde, one of the non-government members, expressing his intention to quit. Did not mean disrespect: Digvijay | Anna non-committal on CD rowdelhi Updated: Apr 22, 2011 00:33 IST
Barely 10 days after it was set up, the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill seemed to be in serious trouble on Thursday, with justice Santosh Hegde, one of the non-government members, expressing his intention to quit.
The other major issue the committee is facing is the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report that the anonymous audio CD that allegedly shows its co-chair Shanti Bhushan offering to fix a high court judge was not tampered.
Justice Hegde said he was extremely hurt at Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh's remark that he had been "ineffective" as lokayukta of Karnataka.
Earlier, Singh said in Lucknow that Hegde was not acting against corruption in Karnataka where the chief minister and several ministers faced corruption charges.
Hegde termed it absurd. "Anyone who knows me or my work would not make such a statement.
He has made such remarks without knowing the reality. I am thinking of resigning," he said.
"I will take a decision after talking to my colleagues, including Anna Hazare," Hegde added.
Taking a dig at Singh, justice Hegde said, "I am not a politician. I cannot fight this type of battle and there should be a limit to the vilification campaign."
Singh, however, retracted his comment, saying he held justice Hegde in high esteem and the remark had been wrongly attributed to him.
On the CD row, Arvind Kejriwal, a member of the committee, said, "We're ready for a probe by any agency against us. We want a special investigation team appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the CD issue."
"There is no question of anybody resigning from the panel merely on the basis of a malicious campaign launched by some corrupt elements within and outside the government," Kejriwal said along with former police officer Kiran Bedi.
The focus clearly has been on rebutting allegations against non-government members of the committee, although Hazare's team claimed that some progress had been made on the drafting work.
But barely had the activists finished their defence of the Bhushans, the news about justice Hegde's threat to resign came in. Kejriwal said in case justice Hegde resigned, "Digvijaya would be squarely responsible for the act".