Law and justice panel has never discussed the lokpal bill
Rajinder Sachar, in his article Scared of the spark (June 25), has wrongly attributed certain views to my committee regarding the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.
Mr Sachar writes: "The reason cited by the ministers for excluding the PM from the lokpal's purview is so incongruous when it is noted that the standing committee on law and justice headed by Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan has said that the bill should cover the prime minister also."
This is factually incorrect. The standing committee for law and justice, personnel and public grievances which I chair, has never discussed the Lokpal Bill. The bill is yet to be introduced in Parliament, and, therefore, the question of this bill having been discussed by our committee does not arise at all.
Nor does the question of the committee having made any observations regarding the inclusion or otherwise of the prime minister within the purview of the Lokpal Bill.
Jayanthi Natarajan, via email
Deploying army not in our ken
I am surprised at the news report Army to fight Maoist menace? (June 22). When asked about the presence of an army group in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, I did confirm their presence but stated that they were training in the jungles and had nothing to do with tackling the Maoists.
Paramilitary forces are assigned to supplement the efforts of the state police and it is not within the jurisdiction of the ministry of home affairs to deploy the army at any stage. As regards funding of police modernisation in the states by the home ministry, I never stated that it would continue for the next 10 years.
Gurudas Kamat, via email
Sparring for no reason
With reference to Prem Shankar Jha's article No winners in this war (June 23), there are several stages of debating left as the draft lokpal bill makes its way through Cabinet and then Parliament.
The current shadow boxing between Anna Hazare's team and the government serves no purpose.
Shambhu Chopra, Allahabad