The central government has sought the views of state governments and political parties on certain issues related to drafting of Lokpal Bill, like bringing the office of the prime minister and chief justice of the Supreme Court under its ambit.
The text of the letter written by the chairman of the drafting committee, Pranab Mukherjee, is expected to result in a wider debate on the issue, which would in turn stretch the drafting of the Lokpal Bill far beyond its deadline.
The letter said the issue of setting up of a Lokpal to curb corruption in high places has been under the consideration of the Government of India for some time and the legislative department had prepared a draft Lokpal Bill in 2010, "a copy of which is annexed."
"Simultaneously, some members from civil society have been advocating setting up of a Lokpal and a draft bill prepared by them is also annexed."
"The joint drafting committee set up in April 2011, has had five meetings so far. There are, however, some basic issues where the government feels that consultations with all stakeholders is necessary before we finalise the draft of the Lokpal Bill. As chief minister of state government, you are an important stakeholder and we would like to have the benefit of your views on these vital issues", the letter read.
The issues, which the centre has sought, the views of state governments and political parties include the demands from the civil society members that one single Act should provide for both the Lokpal in the centre and Lokayukta in the state. The state governments have been asked to state whether they would be willing to accept a draft provision for the Lokayukta on the same lines as that of the Lokpal.