Lokpal bill drafts enjoy equal weightage: Bhushan

New Delhi: Taking exception to the government`s "comparative" analysis of the two drafts of the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare team on  Monday asked Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to treat both its versions as the joint drafting committee`s outcome enjoying "equal weightage".

In a letter to Mukherjee, panel co-chair Shanti Bhushan said since the very vision of Jan Lokpal Bill was different in the two drafts, he thought it was a "good decision" to treat both the drafts as the outcome of the joint committee.

At the joint drafting committee meeting, he said five members endorsed one draft whereas the other five endorsed another.

"Therefore, both the drafts enjoy equal weightage as far as the outcome of the joint committee is concerned. I would still urge you to treat both the drafts as the outcome of the joint committee," Bhushan said.

The letter came in the backdrop of the government releasing a comparative statement on the drafts prepared by the government side and the Hazare team, which Bhushan alleged did not "accurately" present the civil society views.

In the last meeting of the joint panel on June 22, the government side and the Hazare team had "agreed to disagree" on the provisions of Lokpal Bill and decided to present two separate drafts which would be discussed with parties before it was presented in the Cabinet.

Bhushan said, "This chart does not present Jan Lokpal Bill accurately. Whereas there are inaccuracies at many places, the sections from Jan Lokpal Bill have also not been fully quoted at many other places. Any person reading this chart will be completely in the dark about the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill," he said.

However, Bhushan said if the government wishes to combine the two in the form of a chart, they can make an attempt to do that but with the concurrence of all members of joint panel.

"If the government provide with the chart, they would present the Jan Lokpal Bill correctly and send it back to them for release," he said.

Bushan said in the last joint committee meeting, it was decided that both the drafts will be taken to the Cabinet and parties.