Social activist Anna Hazare's team on Wednesday said the Lokayukta bill passed by the Uttarakhand assembly was identical to the Jan Lokpal bill proposed by them, and put the ball in the central government's court saying the country was waiting to see what happens at the national level.
Congratulating lawmakers in the Uttarakhand assembly for passing a strong Lokayukta bill on Tuesday, Team Anna said this will now form the baseline for the Centre's Lokpal bill.
"We have to see whether the Centre weakens the Uttarakhand law or strengthens it. The central government should now at least approve the bill passed by this state," activist Arvind Kejriwal told reporters here.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the Uttarakhand bill was "cent per cent" identical to their Jan Lokpal bill.
Kejriwal revealed their team member Kumar Vishwas had contacted the Uttarakhand government from their side and in just three meetings in a month the bill was drafted.
"But in the case of the central government, despite nine meetings in a span of two and half months of 2-3 hours, the bill that came in August was more to protect the corrupt than punish them," he said.
Team Anna said the Uttarakhand bill had certain clauses, which require the Centre's approval before it would become effective.
They cited many instances where Uttarakhand had accepted recommendations of their bill completely. "The Centre has been hesitant in including judiciary in the Lokpal bill, but the Uttarakhand bill includes lower judiciary," said a statement issued India Against Corruption.
"The Uttarakhand bill includes the entire bureaucracy (higher and lower), however the centre is reluctant to lower bureaucracy," the IAC noted.