The Supreme Court today (Thursday, March 7) told Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal to inform within 10 days a possible date for a meeting of the Prime Minister-led selection committee for appointment of Lokpal and its members.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was informed by Venugopal that a search committee, headed by former apex court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, had recommended three panels of names to the selection committee for appointment of chairperson, judicial and non-judicial members.
The AG told the Bench, also comprising Justices SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, that he will ask the Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training to ensure that the meeting of the Prime Minister-headed selection committee is convened as early as possible.
The court refused to pass directions to disclose names in the three panels, saying the matter should be left to the search committee. “We have considered the provisions of the act and it’s our considered view that no directions are required by this court and the matter should be left to the search committee,” it said.
The court was responding to the petitioner’s – Common Cause – contention that further steps were required to be taken for the constitution of the Lokpal and at this stage the names of the panel should be put in public domain. It was the government’s duty to provide the names to the court today.
“As and when we have the names we will give them to you,” the Supreme Court told the petitioner orally, said media reports.
Attorney general KK Venugopal told the court that he was informed by the chairman of the search committee that three names had been forwarded on February 28 to the selection committee that comprises the chairperson, a judicial member and a non-judicial member.
The attorney general told the court that the search committee’s deliberations had been completed and that the matter now rested with the selection committee. The attorney general also said that the search committee needed another 10 days’ time to finalise the names.
“Within 10 days the AG is directed to appraise the court as to when can the selection committee possibly convene a meeting. Since the search committee has recommended names, contempt petition stands disposed of,” the bench said.
The bench was hearing a plea raising concern over the non-appointment of Lokpal at the Centre.