In first signs of growing unease among Anna Hazare's team over the slow progress in drafting the anti-corruption Jan lokpal bill, the co-chair of the joint panel, Shanti Bhushan on Thursday expressed doubts on whether the panel would be able to finish its work by June 30, the deadline for drafting the bill.
In a letter to finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who heads the 10-member joint drafting committee, Bhushan asked the government to respond to all the points mentioned by the civil society activists in the salient features of their version of the proposed bill.
"The deadline for drafting the Jan lokpal bill is June 30. The progress so far has been slow. I as co-chairperson, am worried whether we will be able to meet our deadline," the former law minister wrote, asking for meetings to be held thrice a week during June to complete the work.
The joint panel has held three meetings so far and the fourth is scheduled for Monday.
Ahead of this meeting, Bhushan has pointed out that the government had agreed on seven of the 34 points mentioned by the civil society activists in their documents submitted during previous meetings.
"Mr Chidambaram had informed which of these seven points were straightaway acceptable to the government. Discussions started on those points where there was some divergence. I suggest that in the next meeting, let the government first present its views on the remaining points," Bhushan said.
He has requested Mukherjee to let the government provide "possible solutions" on those points where it has concerns.
The veteran jurist, who was recently embroiled in a controversy related to an anonymous audio CD, which purportedly contained his conversation with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his former aide, Amar Singh, also reiterated the demand to video record the panel's proceedings.
"People across the country are demanding video recordings. I would urge the proceedings be video recorded and released to the public after the law has been finally drafted."