The government should have moved step by step on the lokpal bill and on granting constitutional status to the proposed anti-graft watchdog, says justice JS Verma, whose opinion formed the basis for the parliamentary panel’s recommendation on the issue.
Former CJI, justice Verma, on Monday said the government committed an error by moving both lokpal and constitutional amendment bills together.
“In my view, it would have been better had the government only moved the constitutional amendment bill for the creation of lokpal...and lokayuktas...with a constitutional status for both...,” said justice Verma.
“It was important for the government to have forged a political unanimity on the least controversial issues first, and going by the parliamentary standing committee report, nobody appeared to be opposed for a constitutional status to the lokpal,” the former CJI said.
Asked whether it would have been advisable to split the two inter-related bills into two sessions, he said: “Given the heated debate on the lokpal issue…, a step-by-step approach would have been better. I wish the country should have been first committed for a lokpal and the controversies surrounding it could have followed.”
On the strong stand taken by the opposition parties against the Lokpal Bill providing for mandatory setting-up of lokayuktas through a single bill to be passed by the parliament, the former CJI termed the confusion as unnecessary.