Mere discussion in Parliament not enough, pass resolution on Anna Hazare’s demands: Prashant Bhushan

Team Anna has clarified that it is not enough for the Parliament to merely discuss the Jan Lokpal bill, but needs to pass a resolution.

Anna Hazare has already called for three “must haves” for the new Jan Lokpal bill that will ultimately be passed by the Parliament. They are:

1) Entire bureaucracy must be within under the Lokpal’s scope, including the lowest level clerk or peon

2) There must be a citizen’s charter associated with the Act which spells out a grievance redressal mechanism in case action under the Act is delayed

3) Bill must include the creation of LokAyutkas as the State-level compatriot of the Lokpal

In reaction, the Government had said it was willing to discuss the Jan Lokpal bill in Parlament today and send its “recommendations and comments” to a committee which would then actually frame the bill.

Whether or not the recommendations would be binding on the Committee was not clear, from the way the Government explained the matter.

In reaction, Prashant Bhushan, one of India’s top advocates and one of the core members of the India Against Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare has clarified today that mere discussion in Parliament will not do.

“Lokpal bill has been discussed in Parliament eight times and it has been sent to standing committee eight times.. Mere discussion is not enough. They need to pass a resolution on this (above demands),” he said.

In other words, the Parliament must pass a resolution that will make it binding on the standing committee to come up with a final bill that will include the above aspects.

Meanwhile, possibly due to the confusion, the government has delayed the initiation of any such debate, originally meant for today. Pawan Kumar Bansal, parliamentary affairs minister, said no one remembered to include this matter in today’s business before the Parliament and it may not be possible to discuss it today.

Bhushan, however, pointed out that it was a mere technicality and the House rules permitted it to take up any matter on an emergency basis by passing a motion to over-rule the usual technicalities.

“It is up to their will whether or not they want to discuss.. Rule 386 says any rule in the Lok Sabha can be waived by a motion. If they want to have a discussion, they can pass a motion,” Bhushan, a close aide of Anna Hazare, said.