SC expresses dissatisfaction with Centre’s affidavit in Lokpal matter

SC expresses dissatisfaction with Centre’s affidavit in Lokpal matter

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today expressed its discontent with the approach of the Centre in the case related to the appointment of Lokpal.

The Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R Banumathi and Navin Sinha, after perusing the affidavit filed by the Centre, termed the same “unsatisfactory”.

During the last hearing, the Bench had refrained from passing any directions or orders given that the Selection Committee was due to hold a meeting to constitute a Search Committee. Justice Gogoi had, in fact, said that the Court was optimistic that a Search Committee would be duly constituted.

However, today, Attorney General KK Venugopal informed the Court that while the Selection Committee had its scheduled meeting on July 19 in conformity with the rules, the Search Committee has not been appointed yet, and the same may be deliberated upon in the next meeting. The date for the next meeting is yet to be decided.

The Selection Committee comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appointed as the eminent jurist on the panel.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, pointing out that no time frame has been set for the said appointment even four and a half years after the Lokpal Act was passed, said that the Centre is not serious about appointing a Lokpal.

Bhushan submitted that there were two options which could be exercised – either contempt proceedings against the functionaries responsible could be initiated or the Court can exercise it’s power under Article 142 and set up a Search Committee. A Lokpal could then be appointed from the names thus recommended by this Committee.

Justice Gogoi, after perusing the affidavit and hearing both counsel, expressed his dissatisfaction with the Centre’s affidavit. He then directed the Centre to file a detailed affidavit within four weeks; the same must include a time frame within which the Search Committee will be set up.

Read the Centre’s affidavit:

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