Government releases draft Lokpal bill

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Lokpal BillNEW DELHI: Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily Friday released a draft Lokpal bill that he said included the consensus views of the joint drafting panel comprising civil society members and the government.

While Moily chose to call it a draft bill of the joint drafting committee, he said this was the “draft by the government nominees and also (incorporates) the views on which there was consensus in the JDC (joint drafting committee)”.

Speaking to newspersons at his office, Moily said the draft clearly showed that “we are not adopting a stubborn (attitude) and (are) accommodating”. “This (bill) contains and reflects the points where both of us agree,” he underlined.

Moily also made it clear that as of now there was no government bill on the Lokpal and the same would be drafted only after the process of consultations with different political parties was completed. “Government has not commenced the drafting of the Lokpal bill,” he said.

Apparently the law minister released the official draft that had emerged from the deliberation in the JDC in order to clear the alleged confusion on account of several claims by members of the civil society.

“They (members of civil society) have changed their views many times” and it is difficult to say where they stand, the minister said.

He said the government draft on Lokpal would emerge only after it gets responses from different political parties.

Moily said: “We have to take along all the political parties, if they don’t agree then there will be a difficulty.” He added: “It is not a rhetoric. We have to present a bill before parliament” and the one that is acceptable to it.

Besides the Lokpal bill, Moily announced that the first Rajiv Gandhi Advocate Training Scheme would be implemented from June 27. He said the first batch of trainees would include ten advocates from each state who would undergo intensive training in law and its application by senior counsel. The first such training camp will be held at the National Law University in Delhi from June 27.

The main object of the scheme is to motivate and encourage young talented meritorious lawyers to remain in practice at the Bar at grass root level by imparting professional training to them. The scheme targets young lawyers who are practising in Magistrate and Munsif Courts.

Moily regretted that none of the judges in the higher judiciary were from Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. He said that no chief justice of a high court was from SC/ST category.

He said that it was happening because due to lack of proper training the hidden talent among the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes was not getting demonstrated. “Talent is hidden and is not (getting) demonstrated. If the talent is not demonstrated that does not mean that talent is not there,” Moily said.

(IANS)

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