Lokpal bill stakeholders term 2nd meet productive | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Lokpal bill stakeholders term 2nd meet productive

delhi Updated: May 03, 2011 00:06 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The Centre and the anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's team on Monday fast-tracked the process for preparing a strong anti-graft lokpal bill. They initiated negotiations on the broad principles of the draft presented by the activists.

Both sides termed the second meeting, which lasted around 90 minutes, "productive", during which Hazare's team submitted two documents, outlining the objectives of the proposed bill.

The 10-member joint drafting panel will meet again on Saturday, to be followed by next meetings on May 23 and 30.

The five government representatives are also learnt to have raised some questions regarding the constitutional validity on some of the provisions put forward by Hazare's team.

"We will think about the proposals given by both sides and will discuss these on Saturday," telecom minister Kapil Sibal said after the meeting.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, a member of Hazare's team on the panel said a strong bill would fulfill the requirements of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had signed the UN's anti-graft convention on November 20 last year, which requires India to make a law to ratify it.

Hazare's team has linked it to the lokpal bill by making its mention in the statement of objectives for the draft bill submitted to the government.

The Centre, meanwhile, has asked the activists to go through the draft bills prepared through 1968, parliamentary standing committee reports and letters written by some individuals giving their suggestions on the proposed bill.

Both sides have agreed to hold regular meetings in June to meet the June 30 deadline for completion of the draft bill.

PIL against Hazare dismissed
The Delhi HC on Monday dismissed a plea for removal of Anna Hazare from the lokpal bill drafting panel on ground of alleged corruption in a trusts, saying setting up of the panel was Centre's exclusive domain.