No delay on Lokpal bill: Singhvi

New Delhi : There would be no delay, except for a “couple of days” of procedural extension, in submitting the anti-graft Lokpal bill in parliament, according to Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who heads the parliamentary panel studying the draft legislation.

“This is nothing but a short procedural extension. We have a formal adoption meeting Dec 7,” Singhvi, also a senior Congress leader, told reporters here Tuesday. He added that the report could be tabled in parliament after a “couple of days” of extension.

He refused to give a definite date when the report would be tabled but said the extension was for translation, printing and binding of the draft report.

“If this report is submitted in the next few days, where is the delay and what is the delay you are talking about,” Singhvi asked.

He said the original date for submitting the report was Dec 7 and a two-day procedural extension could not be called a delay.

“I want to also remind you that if and when this report is given in the near future, it would have been done in less than two and a half months. I would like you to tell me which issue as vast and complicated as this has resulted in a parliamentary committee report in less than two and a half months,” he said.

Singhvi’s comments come in the wake of social activist Anna Hazare’s threats to hold a daylong protest Dec 11 to press his demand for a strong Lokpal bill and an extended agitation Dec 27-Jan 5, 2012 if the legislation was not passed in the winter session ending Dec 22.

Hazare and his supporters have expressed their dissatisfaction with the recommendations of the standing committee and said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was to be blamed for flip flops of the parliamentary committee.

But Singhvi denied this.

“What has given you the impression that we are writing this report to please anyone or everyone? What has given you the idea that we are writing this report to please any individual, organisation or all organisations and individuals,” he asked.

He said the panel prepared the report to “only to satisfy our conscience and the national interest”.

“If this committee was set up to rubber stamp your (Hazare’s) version or X version or Y version, then why was this committee set up in first place,” he asked.

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