A day after opposition parties and Team Anna rejected the government proposal based on Rahul Gandhi's suggestion to provide constitutional status to the Lokpal, two former chief justices have come out in support of it.
On Thursday, ex-CJIs JS Verma and MN Venkatachalliah supported the government before the parliamentary panel examining the Lokpal bill.
"We put across a firm commitment to have a strong Lokpal, because a constitutional Lokpal would be the strongest one can think of," Justice Verma said.
He is learnt to have argued that giving constitutional status to the Lokpal will make it difficult for any future government to tinker with its powers, since a two-thirds majority will be required to make any change.
"We merely suggested the desirability of having the strongest Lokpal regime...constitutional framework then the details can be worked out," Justice Venkatachalliah said.
Both former CJI's also supported the government's contention of keeping the PM and the higher judiciary out of the Lokpal's purview.
Though the government has the backing of these two jurists, the challenge it faces is to win over the opposition, whose support will be crucial to implement Gandhi's suggestion.
Standing committee chairman Abhishek Singhvi said: "All issues are open. All matters are under consideration and the fun is in the mystery."
Singhvi refused to be drawn into what the committee's stand on the government proposal will be.