March 04, 2021
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'Government Went Back On Assurance To Anna'

'Government Went Back On Assurance To Anna'

Team Anna --  Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, senior lawyers Shanti Bhushan (co-chairman) and Prashant Bhushan, and the former Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde -- had been insisting from the beginning that they wanted a live telecast of the proceedings of the Joint Drafting Committing meetings with the government representatives -- Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee (Chairman), Law Minister Salman Khursheed, Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal, the former Law Minister, Veerappa Moily, and Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

Eventually, it was decided that the proceedings would be audio-recorded and those audio tapes would be made public only later.

Now Right to Information (RTI) activist S.C. Aggarwal has secured the tapes from the government through an application. The government did not initially wish to release the tapes as the RTI Commissioner wanted to take the opinion of the law ministry before allowing these tapes to be made public.

Writing in the Hindu, Gargi Parsai says:

The excerpts expose what the civil society members had been saying all along: the government side had agreed to place the draft Jan Lokpal Bill formulated by the civil society members, along with the official Lokpal Bill draft, before the Union Cabinet for consideration, but went back on its word.

Finally, what went before the Cabinet was only the government's draft with the civil society's draft ‘annexed' to it.

In the excerpts of the last meeting on June 21, JDC chairman Pranab Mukherjee is heard saying both drafts would be placed before the Cabinet.

When civil society member Arvind Kejriwal asked whether the Cabinet would select one of them, Mr. Mukherjee is heard saying, “both, or a combination of both.”...

“Shri Arvind Kejriwal sought clarification as to whether the Bill will be specific for the Centre only and whether one of the options, i.e., either the government's formulation or the formulation proposed by the civil society will be chosen for the final draft. The chairman confirmed that both the formulations would be considered for the draft.”

Read on at the Hindu

Listen to the tapes:

Ist Meeting -- Part 1
Ist Meeting -- Part 2
2nd Meeting -- Part 1
2nd Meeting -- Part 2
2nd Meeting -- Part 3
3rd Meeting -- Part 1
3rd Meeting -- Part 2
3rd Meeting -- Part 3
3rd Meeting -- Part 4
4th Meeting -- Part 1
4th Meeting -- Part 2
4th Meeting -- Part 3
4th Meeting -- Part 4
5th Meeting -- Part 1
5th Meeting -- Part 2
5th Meeting -- Part 3
5th Meeting -- Part 4
6th Meeting -- Part 1
6th Meeting -- Part 2
7th Meeting -- Part 1
7th Meeting -- Part 2
7th Meeting -- Part 3
7th Meeting -- Part 4
8th Meeting -- Part 1
8th Meeting -- Part 2
8th Meeting -- Part 3
8th Meeting -- Part 4
9th Meeting -- Part 1
9th Meeting -- Part 2


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