SC sets deadline for Lokpal appointment

SC sets deadline for Lokpal appointment
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Highlights

The Supreme Court on Thursday requested the search committee on Lokpal to recommend by the end of February a panel of names for appointing the countrys first antigraft ombudsman

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday requested the search committee on Lokpal to recommend by the end of February a panel of names for appointing the country's first anti-graft ombudsman.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Centre to make available requisite infrastructure, manpower, secretarial assistance and others to enable the committee, which is headed by former apex court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, to commence its work immediately and conclude it within the time frame.

The bench, also comprising justices L N Rao and S K Kaul, ordered this after Attorney General K K Venugopal apprised the court that due to certain difficulties like lack of office space, infrastructure, manpower and secretariat, "possibly, the search committee has felt handicapped in convening its meetings and in holding its deliberations".

It also noted in its order that the eight-member committee, which was constituted by a government notification of September 27 last year, had not undertaken any deliberations till January 16 and a meeting was held only Wednesday.

"We do not wish to comment on the said aspect of the matter. Instead, we deem it appropriate to request the search committee to commence and complete its deliberations and recommend a panel as required under Rule 11 of the Search Committee (Constitution, Terms and Conditions of Appointment of Members and the Manner of Selection of Panel of Names for Appointment of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal) Rules, 2014 by the end of February 2019," the bench said in its order. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on March 7.

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