The 150-minute discussion on draft Lokpal bill between government representatives and civil society members here on Wednesday centred on two issues: subjecting the bureaucracy to investigation by the Lokpal alone, doing away the dual process of departmental proceedings and CBI investigation as is being done now; and the structure of the Lokpal.
Prashant Bhushan, a civil society member on the joint committee, alleged that the government merely wanted an 11-member Lokpal with no effective investigative machinery, its members taking all decisions and covering only high-level corruption; whereas, the civil society members wanted the panel to supervise and administer a full-fledged investigative machinery at all levels.
The issue of bringing the office of Prime Minister, the judiciary and the conduct of MPs in Parliament under the ambit of the Lokpal did not come up for discussion, though opinion had been sought from the Chief Ministers and political parties.
Asked whether the talks had failed, Mr. Bhushan was cautious: the two sides decided to give their separate drafts, he said.
But another civil society member Arvind Kejriwal said the one-and-a-half month exercise was an eyewash as the government adopted a tough attitude.