Eminent jurist to join Lokpal selection panel

Eminent jurist to join Lokpal selection panel

Eminent jurist to join Lokpal selection panel

The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Lokpal Selection panel headed by the Prime Minister has met on March 1 and decided to fill up the vacancy of an eminent jurist in the committee at the earliest.

"The selection committee with the CJI and Lok Sabha speaker as members is currently seized with the matter. Once the eminent jurist is appointed to the panel, further steps will be taken proceed in the matter,"  Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted before a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi, reading out an affidavit filed by the secretary, Department of Personnel and Training.

The affidavit also pointed out that Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress party, the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha, had declined to attend the meeting as a special invitee.

Venugopal also submitted that he could not ask for a date for such appointment and it would need to be left to the Selection Committee.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause contended the Lokpal Act  was passed nearly four year ago and the judgement of the court was delivered about a year ago wherein it was observed that the Lokpal and Lokayutas Act, 2013 was a perfectly workable legislation and there was no justification on the part of the government to keep the enforcement of the said act under suspension.

He claimed the government was delaying the appointment of Lokpal under the pretext of the amendments in the law to make single largest party leader eligible to participate in capacity of Leader of Opposition in the selection panel.

The court put the matter for consideration on April 17.