The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokpal, would not be possible until the Parliament passes the necessary legislation. Representing the government, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Parliament may discuss the amendment concerning the role of Leader of Opposition during the monsoon session in Parliament.
The apex court decided to reserve its verdict on the matter, The Hindu reported.
“Lokpal cannot be appointed in the current scenario as amendments regarding definition of the Leader of Opposition in the Lokpal Act are pending in Parliament. The judiciary can’t dictate the legislature on this issue,” The New Indian Express quoted Rohatgi as saying.
The Narendra Modi-led government said the absence of a Leader of Opposition on the five-member selection committee, which includes the prime minister, has hindered the appointment process.
The petitioner, NGO Common Cause, claimed that the government was delaying the appointment intentionally, The Hindu reported. Represented by advocate Shanti Bhushan, the NGO requested the Supreme Court bench to direct the Parliament to make the necessary amendments. Bhushan said the court should not rely on political parties to see the matter through.
The apex court had earlier rebuked the Bharatiya Janata Party government for “dragging its feet” on the appointment.