The central government on Saturday issued a gazette notification constituting a joint committee headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to draft an anti-graft Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill. Excerpts from the notification:
"Government of India here by constitutes a joint drafting committee to prepare a draft of the Lokpal Bill. The joint drafting committee will consist of five nominee ministers of the Government of India and five nominees of Anna Hazare, including himself.
The five Ministers are Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chidambaram, Veerappa Moily, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khursheed.
The five civil society members are Anna Hazare, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, Shanti Bhushan, senior advocate, Prashant Bhushan, advocate and Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan.
The chairperson of the committee is Pranab Mukherjee and co-chairperson Shanti Bhushan, convener Veerappa Moily.
The joint drafting committee will commence its work forthwith and involve its own procedure to prepare the proposed legislation.
The joint drafting committee shall complete its work latest by June 30."
The gazette notification has been signed by V.K. Bhasin, secretary of the legislative department of the law ministry.
Social reformer Anna Hazare, who sat on a fast-unto-death demanding for a stringent anti-graft law Tuesday morning, broke his fast Saturday after the government said it would introduce the bill in the monsoon session of parliament in July.