NGO moves SC over Lokpal selection

NGO moves SC over Lokpal selection

An NGO on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court, challenging the selection process for appointment of Lokpal chairperson and members. 

The PIL, filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of “Common Cause”, claimed that provisions of the Search Committee (Constitution, Terms and Conditions of appointment of members and the manner of selection of Panel of names for appointment of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal) Rules, 2014, framed under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2014, were illegal.

It also sought quashing of the entire selection process initiated under the rules alleging that it is illegal, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

It said the government was going ahead with the selection process despite serious flaws in the rules. 

“Justice K T Thomas and Fali Nariman, who were offered the post of the chairman and member of the search committee respectively, have already declined to accept the offers on these very grounds,” the petition said.

“Therefore, if the selection process of the Lokpal is not stayed during the pendency of the present writ petition, it would be rendered infructuous and public interest would suffer,” it said.

The petitioner said according to Rule 10 (1), the search committee shall prepare a panel of people to be considered by the selection committee for appointment to the Lokpal chairperson and members posts, from a list provided by the Centre, which “directly runs counter to the very object of having an independent Lokpal and the provisions of the said act”.

“At least four sitting judges of this court are reported to have expressed their willingness for being considered for the post of judicial members of the Lokpal.

“Their candidature, even though permitted under clause (3) of Section 3 of the act, will seriously compromise independence of the judiciary, which is a part of the basic feature of our Constitution, since the government, which is the biggest litigant before this court, will be processing and considering the names of the judges of this court for appointment as judicial members of the Lokpal,” the petition said.

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