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Updated: August 10, 2011 11:41 IST

Civil society won’t be involved in future for drafting law: Sibal

PTI
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Union HRD Minister and member of Lokpal Bill drafting committee Kapil Sibal. File photo
PTI Union HRD Minister and member of Lokpal Bill drafting committee Kapil Sibal. File photo

“I don’t consider it to be a precedent ... the government was in a particular situation”

After a not-so-pleasant experience with activist Anna Hazare's team in drafting of the Lokpal Bill, the government says that there will be no such experiment anymore.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, one of the key members of the joint committee for drafting the Lokpal Bill, also maintained that it could not be cited as a precedent.

The draft of the Bill would undergo changes after consultations with political parties and other members of the civil society.

“I don't say it is a precedent. In the given situation, the government was in, it is a decision that we took with open eyes and I don't consider it to be a precedent... the government was in a particular situation,” Mr. Sibal told PTI in an interview. He was asked what would the government do if in future some activists resorted to agitation.

‘One-off’ episode

Asked if it was a “one-off” episode, the lawyer-turned-politician said, “I would imagine so.”

Mr. Sibal emphasised that the draft bill prepared by the five Ministers was not the “final bill” and “it will go through changes when we get inputs not just from other political parties but also other members of the civil society.”

The government is holding a meeting with political parties on the issue on July 3.

Hazare’s fast threat

Mr. Sibal refused to comment on Mr. Hazare's decision to go on hunger strike again from August 16, but said “when that situation arises, I am sure the government will deal with it.”

Noting that Mr. Hazare's associates, Justice Santosh Hegde and social activist Swami Agnivesh, had publicly stated that the “fast is not the way,” the Minister said he was sure that the Gandhian “has the wisdom to decide what is best for him and the country.”

Mr. Sibal maintained that Mr. Hazare and his associates had wanted to create an authority outside the system which would be “accountable to nobody” and asserted that this could not be allowed to happen.

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Kapil Sibal has forgotten that all the laws are enacted for the benefit of general public of which civil society is an inalienable part... and No law can be enacted if civil society refused to obey it.In further precise way, the constitution of India is by the citizens and of the citizens and neither by the politicians only nor for the politicians only.
With this episode of congress in power, the countdown has already begun that the general-election result would be upside-down than those of last... as this time large number of intellectuals are expected to actively cast their vote. Consequently, the dream of Congress, Sonia Gandhi & Digvijay Singh in particular, to make Prime Minister will remain as an Utopian story, and Rahul Gandhi will continue to smile forever and nothing else.

from:  P Chandra
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 20:02 IST

Let there be a National Referendum for this issue. Should the professional politicians alone draft the law against corruption or should civilians who have integrity also be allowed. Let the real power goes to the people.

from:  Bala
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 19:10 IST

I too support the views of the government here, though it was helpful in interacting with the members of the civil society to draft a strong lokpal, it cannot be set as a precedent for future laws.If the civil society wants to draft laws, why is it that we have a parliament and 'n' number of commitees with highly educated and qualified drafters?. No doubt corruption is a big issue and should be dealt with urgently, but it will serve no purpose by arm twisting the government to draft a law which may not be the dream of a whole nation.

from:  Bharath
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 15:19 IST

Every day I start loosing interest in the congress led government itself. These ministers are not interested in resolving issue related to corruption, bribery and black money. They are only interested in their safety which only proves that the government officials involved in drafting Lokpal Bill directly or indirectly have their hands corrupt. Their goal is to avoid getting caught. It's time for a revolution in India where people throw this corrupt government away and give way for a new government. I would be more interested in a party that does not have Congress / BJP idealism. Is there a way in Indian Constitution that allows people to over-throw the government if the government officials are corrupt?

from:  Muthuselvan
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 14:52 IST

Congress comments as usual are not suggesting any concrete steps. They are playing with time, and they hope the e will die out.

from:  Mohammed Kotwal
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 09:35 IST

Common men like me who voted trusting what the present government said are the real fools. Why don't they understand, whole of political system is corrupt and a body which is independent and accountable should solve these issue.
It took more then 50 years to get a strong Lokpal.See the corruption, right from top to bottom. The corruption at bottom level is more because, the top level is totally corrupt and they know no one will question them.

from:  sabarish
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 09:01 IST

There would be takers for both the versions of the speeches- by the govt.and the civil society group.To me it is confusing unless a paper like yours clears the doubt going through their versions of draft bill because govt. has implicitly accused the civil society group of going against constitution which seems to be true to some extent.

from:  Jayantakb
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 08:03 IST

If civil society has not been included in the drafting the Lokapal bill in future then they can draft according to their will and pleasure. Then we civilain no need to dream about strong Lok Pal bill. They will make a loop hole. Just like accepting dowry is prohibited by law . but if you say that it is gift you can accept dowry in the name of gift.

from:  Balan
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 07:57 IST

I am pleased to see this new attitude of the Govt. I am also of the opinion that Govt. should make the law by themselves, should not allow anyone from the outside of the Govt to do this kind of activity. I had no doubt on the integrity and character of Shri Anna Hazare and team; but they should not force the govt to do this kind of things which may set an exemplary precedent to many others. Therefore, it is a welcome move by the govt. But, the govt. have to see that they should try to prepare the Lokpal bill so that it satisfies the need to purge corruption from the system.

from:  Vikas Saxena
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 07:14 IST

The Govt. is scared rightfully since most of the corrupt politicians will be exposed once a STRONG LOKPAL is in place. They are paying a lip service and wanted to ensure that this is a Jokepal bill so it is business as usual for them in terms of looting the country. Let the movement against Corruption and Black money go on and the Congress will stand exposed and rooted out of power. The earlier it happens better it is for the country. We have already seen this in the recent state elections.

from:  Mouli
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 06:18 IST

If we never had the pro-active CJI things would have been totally different.

from:  S Subramaniam
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 03:50 IST

Instead of bringing a strong Lokpal bill & getting huge black money out, Government is raising gas cylinder cost used by poor people and taking Rs.50 money from them. SHAME SHAME? Leaders are telling Public elected Government. Elected for what? To raise gas cylinder cost & protecting big people from black money? Big people doing corruption should get more punishment than small people doing corruption. Government is trying to control small people by law, so that big people can do more corruption?

from:  PAL
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 02:24 IST

On the other hand people should be encouraged to participate in the governance of this country even more. It is a fact that corruption of gigantic proportions exists and it clearly points to the weakness and effectiveness of existing institutions. Drafting does not take away the authority of the parliament to pass laws but brings more ideas with more rigor to the table. At the end of the day the institutions must serve not rule over the people.

from:  Ranjan Kumar
Posted on: Jun 27, 2011 at 01:50 IST
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