Draft decided by Parliament has to be ultimate one

Noida: Union Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday it would be "unfair" for civil society to raise objections to a draft of the Lokpal bill agreed upon by Parliament.

Khurshid said the government is waiting for the report and proposals of the parliamentary standing committee and would take the matter forward as soon as they are presented.
"… you have been told it would come in the first week of December. Our effort and goal will be to bring it (to parliament) in the next session itself," Khurshid told reporters here after inaugurating a programme by the law department of Amity University.

However, when asked what the government would do to avert another confrontation with Team Anna, the minister said the draft that would be finally decided by Parliament has to be the ultimate one. "If Parliament agrees on something, which it will because these are coming out from a discussion in the parliamentary committee, I think it will be unfair for somebody to challenge it from the outside. If they still want to challenge it, it`s a democracy and we`ll have to face it," he said.

Earlier, addressing the programme, Khurshid dwellt on his thoughts on the debate over provisions of the right to reject and the right to recall parliamentarians.

Khurshid said Indian constitution has laid down a kind of social contract where people send representatives for five years to take decisions on their behalf but he felt the country is not yet ready to move to the systems of referendum. "Our social contract says… we give you five years to decide for us but after that if you are not good, we will not send you again. But for five years, we will not disturb you. In many countries, decisions are taken through referendum. The question is: are we ready for such procedures? No. Why? Because democracy is not an idea that somebody can give you, it is something we must feel from inside," he said.

Khurshid said legal procedures were like scientific processes that at any given time only throw up the best answer possible and not always the right answer. "Any decison we take, we have to factor in all dimensions. Anybody who easily speaks of knowing the right answer is making a mistake," he said.

Arguing against the procedure of the right to reject as is being demanded by Team Anna, Khurshid said only rejecting is not the way forward. "Someboday would say I want Congress party, some other would say I want someone else. But if someone says I do not care who wins but I do not want Congress party, is this democracy? What is right just to reject without giving an alternative or choosing the better betwen two options"? he said.

Khushid said the recent debates thrown up by the civil society movement had also opened up a question in India over what is democracy.

"Anna Hazare brings 50,000 people and sits in Delhi and says I am democracy. We in Parliament, who have been elected by the people, say to him we are democracy. Someone on Twitter, who has one lakh following, may say he is democracy. These are questions we are dealing with in India," he said.