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SC responding to an affidavit said the government stand on Lokpal bill is wholly unsatisfactory

SC responding to an affidavit said the government stand on Lokpal bill is wholly unsatisfactory
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On Tuesday the Supreme Court said that the governments stand on fulfilling the appointment of a Lokpal, an ombudsman to secure the common man from...

On Tuesday the Supreme Court said that the government’s stand on fulfilling the appointment of a Lokpal, an ombudsman to secure the common man from corruption in public service and power centres, was “wholly unsatisfactory.”

The court was responding to an affidavit that was filed by the government, the aim of it was to specify the exact time frame by which it would appoint a Lokpal. Instead, the government, represented by Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, said it was a “complicated” process.

“They [the government] are just dragging their feet. The court should start the procedure of appointing a search committee [to shortlist the candidates for Lokpal],” Mr. Bhushan, for NGO Common Cause, submitted.

The judges should “consult among themselves,” he said. “Let the Supreme Court give names and let the court appoint a Lokpal,” he urged the court.

After a discussion with Justices R. Banumathi and Navin Sinha on the Bench, Justice Gogoi began to pass a short order, recording that the government affidavit was “wholly unsatisfactory” and the competent authority should be filing a second affidavit including all the details of what it had done in the appointment process.

At this point, Mr. Venugopal said the court might also make it clear what “details” it wanted from the government in the second affidavit. Justice Gogoi then tersely went on to record Mr. Venugopal’s request and the court’s reply in the very same order. It said Mr. Venugopal “suggested” the court should “lay down” the details the government has to include in its second affidavit. Refusing the Attorney General, the court responded that “we do not feel the necessity” to guide the government on what it should or should not include in its affidavit.

The court has for the past several months has been continuously urging the government to complete the Lokpal appointment.

The judgment dismissed the government’s reasoning that the Lokpal appointment process should be held till the 2013 Act was amended to substitute the LoP with the single largest Opposition party leader.

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