The government on Wednesday said the search committee for anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal has invited applications for the post of chairperson and members of the Lokpal.

An official press release said the application form can be found on the website of the Department of Personnel and Training. The applicant to the post of chairperson of the Lokpal must be a former chief justice of India or a Supreme Court judge. The applicant for the post of a member should be a former Supreme Court judge or a chief justice of a High Court.

The last date for filing applications is February 22, 2019 at 5 pm, the press release said. A person can nominate another individual, but cannot withdraw a nomination they so made.

The applicant must be at least 45 years of age. The rules also state that at least 50% of the members of the Lokpal should be persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes and women.

The Centre’s move comes over five years after the former United Progressive Alliance government passed the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. The Lokpal Act provides for an anti-corruption panel that will supervise cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants.

The Centre initiated the process to fill the long-vacant posts of chairperson and members of anti-corruption ombudsman on January 30. The Ministry of Personnel said the search committee had held its first meeting the previous day.

Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday ended a week-long fast he had launched over the delay in appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre.

On January 17, the Supreme Court had asked the Lokpal search committee to recommend names for the office by the end of February. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the Centre to provide the search panel the infrastructure and manpower to help it complete its work.

In September, the Centre had named an eight-member search committee, led by Desai and also comprising former State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash.