Govt seeks applications for Lokpal chief, members

After the Supreme Court's tough words last month, the government has put the Lokpal appointment process on a fast-forward mode with the Search Committee on Wednesday inviting applications for the post of Chairperson and members of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

The deadline for submitting the application is 5 pm on February 22. The Lokpal will have a Chairperson and not less than eight members of whom not less than 50% will be judicial members.

The Search Committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai has issued the advertisement seeking applications/nominations from eligible persons for the "purpose of recommending a panel for consideration by the Selection Committee of the Lokpal for appointment to the positions of Chairperson and Members of the Lokpal".

The Supreme Court had last month directed the Search Committee to shortlist and recommend names by the end of February. The court had then expressed displeasure that the search committee did not undertake any deliberations "for reasons that we need not go into for the present".

According to the Search Committee, any person can make a nomination in respect of another person but such nominations should be restricted to one name only for each position. Multiple nominations by the same person for the same position would not be entertained and only the first nomination received will be considered to be valid. Also, none can withdraw his nomination.

As per the eligibility criteria, the Chairperson should be a sitting or former Chief Justice of India or a sitting or former Supreme Court judge or an eminent person with impeccable integrity having special knowledge and expertise of not less than 25 years in anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance and law and management. Their term of office will be five years.

The judicial member in the panel should be a sitting or former judge of Supreme Court or a sitting or former Chief Justice of High Court. Other members should have impeccable integrity and outstanding ability and having special knowledge and expertise of not less than 25 years in anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance and law and management.

Not less than 50% of the members of the Lokpal should be from amongst SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities and women. The members should not be less than 45 years of age.

Sitting MPs and MLAs, civic body members, those holding office of profit or trust, carry any business or practise any profession are not allowed to be Lokpal Chairperson or members.

The applications should be addressed to Search Committee Chairperson and sent to Post Box No. 12, GPO, New Delhi-01 or emailed to lokpal.searchcomm@gov.in. The date/time stamp of the application/nomination at the receiving end will be treated as final for the purpose.

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