Former Law Minister and senior jurist Ram Jethmalani is known for his maverick stand. He categorically rejects the questions raised on Anna Hazare’s movement. He even faulted his party BJP regarding some issues. Dainik Jagran delves into his mind on corruption and Lokpal Bill

Questions are raised on the legitimacy of joint committee formed for drafting Lokpal Bill. A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court. Do you agree with this system?

What is the problem with it? Learned and honest people could be found even outside the government system. Even a person of little knowledge of law can describe that there are so many rules which have become outmoded and impractical in the country. A poor drafting of rules are responsible for 50 percent of legal tangles in the country. In my opinion, there is no legal issue in it.

Some people term Anna’s movement as a bid to blackmail the government?

What is the way for common people to fight against the corrupt government? Either they take resort to arms or go to peopl’s court. Anna Hazare has shown the solidarity and strength of common people.

Do you feel that Judiciary and Prime Minister should be brought under Lokpal?  

Prime Minister is not a God that he could not be brought under any monitoring body. One Cabinet Minster, made by the Prime Minister, who is known for his probity, is serving jail term. As far as Judiciary is concerned, in principle I am not against it. But the moot point is what will be the provision in Lokpal to carry out these responsibilities. If an honest and systematic arrangement is laid out, judiciary should also be brought under the purview of Lokpal.

How significant would be Lokpal to fight against corruption? 

We have advocated for a comprehensive fight against corruption. Be it Anna Hazare or others, I always extend my support to them for fighting against graft. Lokpal is a part of this comprehensive war, however, it is not the ultimate goal. Until laws are implemented honestly and there is impartial investigation, how can anyone be awarded punishment?

People have frowned over father-son, Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan, being members of the joint committee?

This objection is trivial. Though, they are father- son, they have their own identity as well.

But it is said that there are many jurists like you…

So what, all should be included in the joint committee?

You have been levelling charges on the government regarding black money. Do you have any evidence for proving it?

There is no need of mustering any evidence regarding this issue. But sadly, the intention of the government is not correct. Neither does the Centre want to bring back black money nor does it want to take any action against guilty. With all sense of responsibility, I want to say that I have never ever seen such a corrupt government.

But corrupt people are in all parties…

I never said that action should not be taken against corrupt elements of a particular party. Whoever is guilty should be punished.

Your government has put Binayak Sen in jail terming him as Naxlite but you defend him?

The government bungles every work.

You put the government in the docks?

Yes, I do. It is foolhardy to buy conception that imprisoning a person like Binayak Sen would turf out naxalite problems. I do have naxal literatures, why didn’t they put me into jail. There is need of a proper plan to fight against Naxals. And flow of development should honestly be reached to the poor and tribals. The concept of Naxals is not wrong, but some people among them could be wrong.

But the Naxals want a change at the gun-point?

This is merely a propaganda. I do not think that Binayak Sen has ever said to have taken arms against the ruling establishment. Those who are involved in such acts should be sent to jail.

You are said to have got Rajya Sabha seat after fighting case for Narendra Modi?

I did not contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, rather I contested from Rajasthan. Nor have I been new to politics .I have been a member of Rajya Sabha for five terms. Fair enough, if the BJP considers that a lawyer should be appointed where is the wrong? Let me tell you that I have been a counsel for Modi before I joined the Rajya Sabha. I can emphatically say that the Congress has willingly slandered the image of Gujarat. Gujarat riots erupted after as many as 58 people were burnt alive and the Congress tried to prove it to be a mere incident. Today SIT, constituted by the Supreme Court, has categorically said that it was simply a machination which was hatched to kill innocent people on a large scale.

But how can you justify post-Godhara incident? 

I accept that people violently reacted after Godhara incident. Some officers might not have fulfilled their responsibilities. But Narendra Modi could not be pinned down for it. I did not plead for the accused in the Best Bakery case. I chipped in the case when the name of Chief Minister was dragged, whereas the Gujarat police has filed charge-sheet in every issue.