NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh), Apr 10(ANI): Former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan, who is one of the members of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee, on Sunday defended himself over allegations of nepotism, a day after Baba Ramdev expressed displeasure over the composition of the 'Joint Government-Civil Society Committee' to draft the Bill.
The yoga guru had complained about the inclusion of both Shanti and his advocate son Prashant Bhushan in the committee notified by the government.
Talking to mediapersons in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Shanti dismissed the allegations, asserting that fair drafting of the bill required participation of legal experts.
"The drafting of the Ombudsman Bill is a legal process, it requires legal expertise. So it is natural that the panel must comprise members from a legal background," Shanti said.
Earlier, Ramdev had vented his disappointment at the panelists by saying "how can nepotism come at such an early stage with respect to the five members in the panel of Joint Committee on the Ombudsman Bill?"
Social activist Anna Hazare had called off his hunger strike on Saturday after the government issued a gazette notification constituting a 10-member Joint Committee of Ministers and civil society activists, including him, to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.
The notification by the Ministry of Law and Justice said that the Joint Drafting Committee to prepare a draft of the Bill will have five ministers from the government and five nominees of Hazare, including himself.
The five Ministers are Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chairperson, Home Minister P. Chidamabaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily (Convenor), HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid.
The civil society will be represented by Hazare, former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde, Shanti Bhushan (Co-Chairperson), Prashant Bhushan and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal.
The notification said the Joint Drafting Committee will commence work forthwith evolving its own procedure to prepare the proposed legislation. The committee shall complete its work latest by June 30. (ANI)