Nariman not to be part of Lokpal search panel

Nariman not to be part  of Lokpal search panel

 In an embarrassment to the government, eminent jurist Fali Nariman has refused to be the member of Lokpal Search Committee voicing concerns about the process which he feared would result in exclusion of the "most competent, the most independent and the most courageous".

The government had on February 21 wrote to Nariman intimating him that a five-member selection committee, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, has proposed his name as one of the eight members of the search committee. The committee was to prepare a panel of persons might be useful in making the selection of the chairperson and members of Lokpal.

Nariman's letter evoked sharp reaction with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley questioning the "highly improper" procedure adopted in making key appointments. He also charged the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) with diluting the role of the selection and search committees.

Earlier, the inclusion of jurist P P Rao in the selection panel, which looks into the names proposed by search committee, had triggered a controversy with Swaraj opposing his candidature.

"I decline the honour," Nariman said in a letter to Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy. Outlining his reasons for rejecting the offer, he said, “in my humble view this is no way in which an institution as vital and as important as the Lokpal to be constituted.”

“The chairperson and members of the Lokpal as ultimately selected may well be projected as democratically chosen by a broad consensus from amongst two levels of selectors (upper and lower), but it is precisely for that reason that I do fear that the most competent the most independent and the most courageous will get overlooked," Nariman said.

Narayanasamy defended the government saying all procedures had been followed for forming the search committee.

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