The former Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde, on Friday suggested to Team Anna to accept the Lokpal Bill as placed in Parliament.
The former Team Anna member told The Hindu that the Lokpal Bill might not be the same as wanted by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, who is on fast demanding a stronger and effective Bill.
Justice Hegde said, “Let us accept whatever Parliament gives now. Let us see how Lokpal functions for the next few months, and if we find this is not enough, the institution is not functioning well…then we will make a demand for an amendment to the Act.”
“Why miss this opportunity of getting this Bill passed and creating an institution? Creating an institution is necessary and [more] important than asking for a perfect institution to be brought into,” he said.
The first Administrative Reforms Commission recommended the setting up of an Ombudsman, but efforts were not made in the last 50 years to set up the institution, he said.
Mr. Hazare’s agitation was required to exert pressure on the government. “Keeping an eye on the next general elections, the Centre placed the Bill before Parliament now.” The Bill had been drafted nine times till now.
Expressing his doubts over Mr. Hazare agreeing to the Lokpal Bill, he said, “He has taken a different view on that... I hope he agrees. I was the one who wanted passage of the Bill and the setting up of an institution. Let us accept what is coming … accept gracefully.”
After the debacle in the recent elections, the Central government was compelled to pass the Bill, he added.