Anna version of Lokpal Bill unacceptable

Mumbai: Union minister and a key member of the Lokpal bill drafting committee Kapil Sibal on Thursday said that Team Hazare`s version of the legislation was unacceptable, as some of its provisions were against the basic tenets of the Constitution.

Addressing Congress workers here, Sibal described "team Anna" as "an unelected group with accountability to no one."

He also said, jokingly, that Centre should have taken "inputs" from Vilasrao Deshmukh, who had the experience of dealing with "Hazare and his fasts" in Maharashtra.

"Lokpal (as per team Anna draft) would not be accountable to Parliament or the courts because these institutions would be brought under it. This is not acceptable," he said.

The minister said that more than through the Lokpal, corruption can end if existing systems are rectified.

Citing instances of how parents can go to any extent when trying to enrol child in the best school, he said such malpractices would stop only when suitable infrastructure is created and better schools are set up.

He wondered how civil servants, elected representatives and the judiciary, which Hazare and his colleagues felt were "tainted`, would become "clean" under the Lokpal.

Targeting media, he said, "The country cannot run under the institutions which do not have accountability… I am going to recommend to the Prime Minister that even the media be made accountable."

"Reputations are being tarnished on television," he said.

Sibal attacked the BJP for keeping mum in the Lokpal debate, and accused it of attempting to destabilise the polity and Parliament.

Earlier, in a lighter vein, Sibal said the government made the mistake of not enlisting the help of his Cabinet colleague and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh while engaging Hazare.

Addressing Deshmukh, who was also present, Sibal said, "You have the experience of dealing with Hazare and his fasts (in Maharashtra). With your inputs, the government would have handled the issue differently."