As the Union cabinet is set to adopt the new lokpal bill, the civil society raked up its demand for presenting its version of the bill to the cabinet. Shanti Bhushan, co-chairman of the lokpal bill drafting committee, shot a letter to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday demanding their original draft be placed before the cabinet.
Top finance ministry sources said, Mukherjee will not oblige Bhushan: "The draft prepared by the joint committee will be presented to the cabinet. Five civil society members including Shanti Bhushan had contributed in making that draft. Why another draft be sent to the cabinet?"
Shanti Bhushan refuses to buy this argument. "It was decided in the committee meeting that two versions of the lokpal bill will be sent to the cabinet. Let the cabinet see the two drafts and take a final call," he told HT.
Mukherjee's office, however, has forwarded Bhushan's letter to the Prime Minister's Office promptly. The cabinet is likely to adopt the bill this week.
Last week, the Centre completed drafting the new lokpal Bill. It rejected the key demands of the Anna Hazare brigade including bringing the PM in the ambit of the bill.
The civil society will get another chance to present the views when the bill reaches the parliamentary standing committee for review. Prashant Bhushan, a member of the drafting committee, however, remains non-committal on meeting standing committee "If the government goes ahead with their version then we have to resort to agitation. Only if it shows flexibility, we can go and give our inputs to the parliamentary panel," he told HT.