The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Centre to file an affidavit outlining the steps it had taken since September to set up a search committee for the Lokpal. The court asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to file the affidavit by January 17, PTI reported. The committee will recommend names of potential members of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Venugopal told the court that many steps had been taken since September to set up the panel. “What all have you done till date?” the court asked. “So much time is being taken. Bring everything on record what you have done since September 2018.”

The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan. He told the court that the Centre has not even put up on its website the names of the members of the search committee.

Bhushan, representing non-governmental organisation Common Cause, had earlier said that the court should appoint a Lokpal as the government had failed to do so for over four years.

In September, the Centre had named an eight-member search committee. Former Supreme Court Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai will lead the search panel, which will also comprise former State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash. Indian Space Research Organisation head AS Kiran Kumar, former Allahabad High Court judge Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, former Gujarat Police chief Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala, retired bureaucrat Lalit K Panwar and former Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar are the other members of the panel.