Not rushing Lokpal selection: Govt

Will not convene any meeting between April 24 and 28, apex court told

The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it was not rushing with the appointment of the anti-corruption watchdog and no meeting of the selection committee was to take place, in spite of the Prime Minister’s letter.

Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran submitted before a bench presided over by Justice R M Lodha that the government was not convening any meeting between April 24 and 28, as earlier proposed by the Prime Minister to other members of the Lokpal selection committee.

“Nothing has happened. Nothing is happening. The meeting is not going to take place now,” he said. The government’s law officer’s submission would leave the task of the appointment of the country’s first Lokpal to the new dispensation that will be in place next month.

He also informed the court that the government will first need to re-constitute the search committee, which has to shortlist the candidates for appointments.

Former SC judge K T Thomas and jurist Fali S Nariman had refused the offer of being part of the search committee.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO ‘Common Cause’, referred to the letter written by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to members of the selection committee.

 Parasaran, however, said that it was only an administrative step and nothing more was being done.

The court fixed the matter for hearing on May 5. Bhushan, who challenged the validity of provisions of rules for appointment of Lokpal, had filed a fresh application after noting the latest move by the PM. He urged the court to direct the government to put the entire selection process in abeyance.

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