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Updated: September 2, 2011 12:58 IST

Give Standing Committee a chance, says Singhvi

K. Balchand
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Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi at a conference in Kochi. File photo
The Hindu Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi at a conference in Kochi. File photo

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, expressed the hope on Sunday that Team Anna would give the committee a chance to study the Lokpal Bill and make its recommendations, saying it might well surprise all.

Talking to The Hindu, he, however, maintained that it would not be possible for the committee to complete the task before August 30 or September 8, the last day of the monsoon session, saying the process needed three months.

Next meet in September

He said the next meeting of the committee would be held in the first week of September. Team Anna would appreciate the different perspectives, he said, and the constitutional procedures allowed it several bites at the apple.

Pointing out that 40-50 per cent of Team Anna's suggestions had been accommodated in the government Bill, Mr. Singhvi said it was quite possible that “subject to consensus…another chunk of their suggestion may or may not be accepted.”

Stressing that there was no need for Team Anna to be pessimistic, Mr. Singhvi said that by the time the Bill was passed, it was quite possible that 70-80 per cent of their suggestions might be included.

As for the advertisement that angered Team Anna and the Opposition parties, Mr. Singhvi underlined the parliamentary process of the committee inviting the widest possible inputs and later collating and analysing them before submitting its report.

Mr. Singhvi said he had not received the formal copy of the Jan Lokpal Bill, though the committee had a two-hour deliberation with all five members of Team Anna within 24 hours of the Bill having been referred to the committee. Congress member Parveen Singh Aron has submitted a copy of the Jan Lokpal Bill to the committee for a meaningful discussion.

No precedent

Asked about the attempt to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill in the form of a private Bill, Mr. Singhvi said such initiatives had nothing to do with the committee. While every member was entitled to move such a Bill, there was no precedent of a private Bill having become a law.

Negotiations

Asked about the scope of dialogue offered by the Prime Minister to resolve the issue, Mr. Singhvi said he would not want to comment on the government's initiative, but said the Bill was now the property of Parliament or the Standing Committee, and there was no better negotiating forum than the committee. “Obviously, this does not preclude other forms of negotiation if so desired by anyone.”

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Standing committe and Govt of India had 65 years and how many more years you guys need. All politicians and all those including Nandan Nilkeni, retire from public life. Will you give 65 years for your employee to perform in job? Shame on you Nandan, Arundhati all all hypocryts.

from:  Vinod
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:36 IST

Wait a minute. Now why does the civil society shrug away from bringing the NGOs under the Lokpal's scope? All the arguments that they put forward for the inclusion of the PM under the Lokpal bill also hold true for the bringing the NGOs under the Lokpal. Yes the NGOs have done a lot, but then it is also necessary to weed out the fake ones that are concerned with minting money for themselves. and plus, if a NGO is clean, then it shouldn't have anything to fear. I am all for bringing the PM under the lokpal and having a highly-empowered lokpal, but this new development smells of double standards. Because all CORRUPTION STARTING FROMN NGOs., When NGOs applied for Financial Assistance from the Central/State Govt. Body then why they took bribe 25% of Agreed amount for NGOs allotted by the Govt. Body? It means most of the NGos. indulge with corruption from the beginning. PLS THINK OVER IT ALL ANNA HAZARE SUPPORTERS.

from:  Venod Kumar Sharma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:55 IST

Team Anna and the supporters across the country have made a point that the JanLokpal bill should at least be considered in the Parliament and discussed before accepting the same or any suitably modified version. It is clear to one and all that the Government's bill is very weak and will not act as a deterrent to corruption. The government and the parliamentarian should realize that it is time for the country to change and change for the better. The country and society that we leave behind for our future generations should be free of the scourge of corruption and bribery. That is precisely what Anna Hazare and his supporters across the country, including the youth want.
The ultimate aim of the Lokpal and the Lokayukta is to ensure a corruption free society, there by making the office of the Lokpal or the Lok ayukta irrelevant and jobless. let us hope that good sense prevails on both sides and this issue is taken to its logical end by enacting an effective and implementable lokpal.

from:  R N Prasad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:20 IST

From the 1 crore missed calls to India Against Corruption, it is documented that the people of India want PM and MP's to come under anti-corruption laws. Now if the parliament is not able to deliver such a law, it is clear that the parliament should go, and not the people. In this matter, 70% is not enough. The head which may be the top 30% has to be free from corruption. A rotten head with a clean body is no good. As for there being "No Precedent", matters have come to such a head that unprecedented events are taking place. Wise men and women, if there are any, should listen to the voices now.

from:  KK
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:29 IST

It is strange that Mr. Singhvi has not hesitated even a tiny bit to suggest that standing committees of parliament are the best places where healthy debate and disussions can place on important issues. His statement virtually marginalise the role and importance of sansad in democracy, which is a matter of concern which, eminent thinkers have opined committees to be a factor for decline of legislature. Committees are at best convinient compulsions to ease functioning of parliament and circumventing lack of competence of large number of elected members. But by no stretch of imagination, the committees can be attributed with greater sanctity that the floor of parliament more so when committee proceedings in India lack transparency in as much as their proceedings appear on public domain very late rather than on daily basis as it is done more developed democracies. Is Mr. Singhvi saying sansad is a place of mere posturing and it is disabled by incompetence of members?

from:  Ashim Kumar Chatterjee
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:00 IST

"Abhishek Manu Singhvi, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice."
Is'nt this guy the lawyer who represented the lottery company in a case in Kerala high court and the KPCC complained to the high command.The people of Kerala think him as number one crook and shyster.And he the chairman of a standing committee!

from:  Stephen
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 06:12 IST
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