Attorney General KK Venugopal told a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna that 10 names shortlisted for chairperson and other posts had been sent to the selection committee on February 28. The committee comprises a chairperson, judicial member and non-judicial member.
The Supreme Court also dismissed advocate Prashant Bhushan’s plea that the names proposed by the search committee be made public for the sake of transparency, the Hindustan Times reported. “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,” said the bench.
Bhushan on Thursday argued that it was the government’s duty to provide the names to the court. Chief Justice Gogoi, however, said that transparency was a subjective issue and the court cannot carry out the selection committee’s job. “As and when we have the names, we will give them to you,” the bench told Bhushan.
On January 17, the Supreme Court had asked the Lokpal search committee to recommend names for the office by the end of February. The eight-member panel was set up last year to select members of the Lokpal. The Centre initiated the process to fill the long-vacant posts of chairperson and members of the anti-corruption ombudsman on January 30.
The search committee in February had invited applications for the post of chairperson and members of the Lokpal.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, passed when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power, provides for an anti-corruption panel that will supervise cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants.
Last month, social activist Anna Hazare had gone on a week-long fast over the delay in appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre.