Prashant Bhushan, a member of the Lokpal Bill joint drafting committee, today said the CD carrying purported telephone conversation between his father Shanti Bhushan, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh was “doctored”.
The CD has been subjected to forensic tests in two laboratories one in the US and other in Hyderabad and both the laboratories have confirmed “clear signs of doctoring”, he told a press conference in New Delhi.
An audio CD received by some media houses contained a purported telephone conversation between Shanti Bhushan, Yadav and Singh with references to managing a judge.
The senior Bhushan is reported to have said that his son Prashant Bhushan would do such a job well and it would cost about 4 crore rupees.“There are multiple signs of electronic editing in these conversations,” Prashant said terming the CD as “doctored and fabricated”.
Allegeing a conspiracy behind the CD Prashant Bhushan said a contempt petition will be filed in Supreme court in a day or two.
Both Bhushans are members of the joint drafting committee.
Prashant further said the “fabricated” CD is being circulated to malign the civil society and derail the process of drafting an effective Lokpal Bill.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, one of the five ministers nominated to the committee, said after the meeting that both the sides were keen that the new Bill should be introduced in the Monsoon session, which begins early July.
The next meeting of the ten-member committee will be held on 2nd May. Sibal said both sides presented their perspective on the proposed legislation. The latest draft presented by the civil society representatives had “significant” proposals, he added.
The Minister said the entire meeting was audio-recorded and whenever decisions are taken they would be made public.
He said the committee would discuss the draft provided by the activists along with the draft cleared by the Standing Committee which would be circulated.
The new draft presented by the civil society is believed to have amended an earlier provision relating to the selection committee to choose Lokpal and its members.
Under the new proposal, Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have replaced Rajya Sabha Chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker as proposed in the old draft.
Sibal said the next meeting will decide on the modality of public consultations on the legislation.
Another Minister, who attended the meeting, said the new draft presented by the civil society was “better” than the last one and it includes better provisions on safeguard mechanism.
He said the government was ready to discuss anything but “time was short” to conduct public consultations.
Government sources said audio recordings of all meetings is done and there was nothing new in it.
However, they said audio-recordings will not be shared and only minutes of the meetings will be shared.
Prashant Bhushan, one of the members in the panel from the civil society side, said all concerned organisations will be consulted as part of the public consultations through websites and regional consultations.
Anna Hazare, who led the campaign that forced the government to agree to the constitution of the joint committee and who is a member of the committee, said the meeting went off well.
“It is because of you we achieved this success,” he told the media.