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Anna Hazare’s Lokpal committee unconstitutional: lawyers’ SC PIL


A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Lokpal Bill Drafting Committee for having included civil society members.

The petition filed today by a group of lawyers led by advocate M L Sharma have contended that a Parliamentary committee must only consist of elected members of the Parliament and not members of the civil society, according to the PTI.

On 9 April the government had relented and agreed to constitute a joint drafting committee for the introduction of an anti-graft law after a 97-hour long hunger strike by civil activist Anna Hazare in Delhi.

In a related development the law minister Veerappa Moily, who had brokered peace between the Anna Hazare group and the government by notifying the joint committee, also termed Satyagraha as unconstitutional last week, speaking on the occasion of Ambedakar’s birth anniversary.

The formation of the committee consisting of five ministers and five nominees from the Anna Hazare camp, including lawyer father-son duo Shanti and Prashant Bhushan, was widely celebrated by sections of the media and apparently welcomed by popular society but it has also been criticised from other quarters.

Some have questioned the undemocratic methods adopted by the civil society activist in seeking representation on the Lokpal Bill, which could potentially give unbridled powers to the ombudsman while raising doubts about the efficacy of such a movement.

Hazare-nominated Lokpal member and senior counsel Prashant Bhusan today also filed a contempt proceedings against former Samajwadi leader Amar Singh and accused him of producing a doctored CD for derailing the civil society movement.

Photo from annahazare.org

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