SC hopes time-frame be fixed on appointment of Lokpal

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refrained from issuing any order but it hoped that a time-frame would be set for the appointment of Lokpal, as the Union government said the prime minister-headed selection committee is to meet on July 19.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi, R Banumathi and Navin Sinha took into record reservations expressed by Attorney General K K Venugopal that the selection committee may not be able to complete the task of appointing a search committee and lay down a time frame.

"Let us start on an optimistic note that the search committee would be duly constituted. Let the meeting take place on July 19. We hope the selection committee would fix a time-frame and search committee would lay down its norms and procedure," the bench said, fixing the matter for further consideration on July 24.

Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the selection committee will meet on July 19 for the purpose of forming the search committee as mandated under the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2014.

Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGO Common Cause claimed the delay in appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman was as the government is dragging its feet.

The NGO has filed a contempt petition after the apex court had said the absence of Leader of Opposition would not come in the way of appointment of Lokpal.

The government had earlier appointed former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi as an eminent jurist in the Lokpal selection panel.

The post was lying vacant since the death of senior advocate P P Rao on September 11, 2017. The committee comprised of the prime minister, the Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, the leader of the largest Opposition party and an eminent jurist.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge had earlier refused to participate in the selection panel's meeting.

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SC hopes time-frame be fixed on appointment of Lokpal

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