M A I N   N E W S

SC refuses to intervene at Lokpal Bill draft stage

New Delhi, June 29
The Supreme Court today declined to give immediate hearing on a petition seeking to restrain the government from circulating the draft of the proposed Lokpal Bill to parliamentarians.A vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam Reddy and A K Patnaik said the matter of the Lokpal Bill was still under discussion and there was no need to interfere at this stage.

“It is still under discussion. Why should we discuss here at this stage? Let them solve it first, then it would come before us,” the bench said, asking petitioner M L Sharma to get the matter listed after the summer vacation.

The bench said it was the right of parliamentarians to discuss the draft Bill. Its remarks came while negating the submission of the petitioner that it was against the established law.

“Do you think that the draft would be made law before Monday? We do not know when it would be solved. If it is solved then we are ready to sit on Saturday,” the bench said.

The apex court's remarks came after Sharma submitted that the Joint Drafting Committee was not a legal advisory committee for drafting a Lokpal Bill.

"The civil society petition committee is deciding policy and preparing the final report with pre-consent of the Members of Parliament to put it in the House. ....it cannot be said to be an advisory committee by any stretch of law," the petitioner said.

He further submitted that as per law, Secretary General of the House received the proposed draft Bill. After that, the House standing committee evaluated, arranged and prepared and introduced a Bill on the floor and the Joint Drafting Committee could not violate it.

"The respondent's action to circulate and give up petition of the civil society members either to the Cabinet or among the Members of Parliament is a serious violation of the rule framed under Article 118,” the petitioner alleged.

Article 118 of the Constitution elaborates the rules and procedures for conduct of business of Parliament.

He further requested the court to “prohibit the respondent to accept /circulate draft petition of civil society member among Members of Parliament for their approval as contrary to the existing rule of the Lok Sabha”. — PTI 





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