Appointment of the Lokpal Committee should be made at the earliest: SC to Centre

In the ongoing case where a contempt petition for the absence of jurists in the Lokpal committee had been filed, the Supreme Court stated its concerns and expected that the Government would do the needful, at the earliest.

While filing the reply, the counsel on behalf of the Union submitted that the appointment process was underway, he expressed two major concerns hindering the proper implementation of the provisions of The LokPal and Lokayuktas Act. According to Mr. KK Venugopal, a rule provided under the enactments calls for the appointment of a Leader of Opposition, as a member of the selection committee, however, there are no such recognized Leaders of Opposition, in the Parliament.

While the Indian National Congress is the single largest opposition party in the House, the recognized senior leaders have, time and again refused to undertake the appointment in the committee. The main reason for such refusal is the fact that an invitation as a special invitee without rights of participation, recording of opinion and voting in the procedure is only to mislead the nation and the people, rather than sincerely seeking the participation an opinion of the opposition.

Further, the Union Counsel also expressed the Union’s concern with respect to the tenure of the eminent jurist to be appointed by the selection committee, as mentioned under the Act.

The Hon’ble Court, on the submissions of such concerns, had previously given time to the Centre to fix the issues and has, in today’s hearing, scheduled the next hearing on May 15.