New Delhi: Reaching out to political parties ahead of the all-party meeting, the Anna Hazare team on Wednesday met CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and RLD chief Ajit Singh to explain its position on the Lokpal Bill.

Hazare is likely to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday while his team will meet BJP top brass, as suggested by senior leader L K Advani on Friday to drum up support for inclusion of contentious issues like bringing the Prime Minister and higher judiciary under the ambit of Lokpal.

Activists Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi called on Karat this morning at CPI (M) headquarters, while Hazare and another activist Manish Sisodia joined them in the meeting with the RLD chief in the afternoon hours.

"This is part of our efforts to explain the provisions of our version of the Lokpal Bill to various political parties. We will also explain this to various religious leaders," Hazare told reporters.

Singh, who commended Hazare for raising the awareness about rampaging corruption in the country, said "by and large" he supported the provisions of the bill proposed by the Civil Society.

"I did not know in detail the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill. The Anna Team has explained it to me in detail. By and large, I agree with the bill. Our national executive will take a final view on the issue," he said.

Bedi claimed that Karat was for a comprehensive Lokpal by including the Prime Minister and the entire bureaucracy to cover the issue of corruption.

"The CPI(M) is for inclusion of the Prime Minister and bureaucracy below joint secretary level. Karat was for an inclusive Lokpal which includes merger of Anti-Corruption wing of CBI with Lokpal," she said.

SC refuses immediate hearing on petition on Lokpal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to give immediate hearing on a petition seeking to restrain the Government from circulating the draft of the proposed Lokpal Bill to parliamentarians.

A vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam Reddy and A K Patnaik said the matter of the Lokpal bill is still under discussion and there is no need to interfere at this stage.

"It is still under discussion. Why should we discuss here at this stage? Let them solve it first, then it would come before us," the bench said asking the petitioner M L Sharma to get the matter listed after the summer vacation.

The bench said it is the right of parliamentarians to discuss the draft Bill. Its remarks came while negating the submission of the petitioner that it was against the established law.

"Do you think that the draft would be made law before Monday? We do not know when it would be solved. If it is solved, then we are ready to sit on Saturday," the bench said.

The Apex Court's remarks came after Sharma submitted that the Joint Drafting Committee was not a legal advisory committee to draft a Lokpal Bill but is a parallel committee for consideration of a Civil Society petition on Lokpal Bill.

"The Civil Society petition committee is deciding policy and preparing the final report with pre-consent of the members of parliament to put it in the House. ....it cannot be said to be an advisory committee by any stretch of law," the petitioner said.

He further submitted that as per law, Secretary General of the House receives the proposed draft Bill. After that, the House standing committee evaluates, arranges and prepares and introduces a bill on the floor and the Joint Drafting Committee can not violate it.

"Respondent's action to circulate and give up petition of the Civil Society members either to the cabinet or among the members of parliament is a serious violation of the rule framed under Article 118," the petitioner alleged.

Article 118 of the constitution elaborates the rules and procedures for conduct of business of parliament.

He further requested the court to "Prohibit the respondent to accept /circulate draft petition of civil society member among members of Parliament for their approval as contrary to the existing rule of the Lok Sabha".

The petitioner further requested the bench to declare the "respondent's action as a fraud upon judicial proceedings, parliament as well as upon the constitution".

Read more: Lokpal crisis: Anna Hazare to seek support from Sonia Gandhi

JPN/Agencies