A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna today asked Attorney General for India K K Venugopal to inform the Court within 10 days the date when the Prime Minister-led Selection Committee would convene its meeting to appoint the chairperson of the Lokpal and its members.
In terms of Section 4 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the Selection Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, comprises the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India, and an eminent jurist.
Former Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi has been appointed as eminent jurist for this purpose.
At the outset of the hearing, the AG pointed out to the Court that the search committee headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai (retd) has already sent three panels of names separately for the chairperson of Lokpal, judicial members and non judicial members of the Lokpal. It was now for the Selection Committee to convene a meeting and select the chairperson of the Lokpal and its members, according to the AG.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Prashant Bhushan requested the Court to direct the disclosure of the names of candidates recommended by the search committee in order to ensure transparency in the selection process. The Court, however, refused to pass any direction to this effect, and left it to the wisdom of the Selection Committee to decide on the disclosure of the names.
The chairperson of the search committee constituted under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, had on February 6, 2019, invited applications/nominations for the preparation of a panel of names for the consideration of the Selection Committee.