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January 22, 2018

Selection of Chairperson and Members in Lokpal held up

Newsroom24x7 Desk

LokpalNew Delhi, Feb 3: After the applications have already been received, the selection of Chairperson and Members in Lokpal is held up as the process, which would include the constitution of the Search Committee by the Selection Committee and other steps, can can continue only after the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other related law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 that was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 18, 2014 is passed by Parliament.

The quorum of the Selection Committee under section 4 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 Act is at present incomplete. In order to address certain issues which have arisen in relation to the composition of the Selection Committee and the constitution of a Search Committee by the Selection Committee under section 4 of the Act, and some other difficulties in implementing the provisions of the Act, Government introduced the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other related law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in Lok Sabha.

The advertisement and vacancy circular for the posts of Chairperson and Members,Lokpal had been issued by the Central Government in pursuance of the Search Committee Rules and notified in the Gazette of India (Extraordinary) on January 17, 2014.

A number of writ petitions were filed in various High Courts and in the Supreme Court, challenging some of the provisions of the Search Committee Rules. After re-examining these rules, the Central Government issued a Gazette Notification on August 27, 2014 to notify the Search Committee (Constitution, Terms and Conditions of appointment of members and the manner of selection of Panel of Names for appointment of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal) (Amendment) Rules, 2014. Sub-rule (2) of rule 10 of these Rules, provided for an advertisement and inviting of nominations from various authorities by the Central Government (DOPT), has now been substantially modified. Sub-rule (2) now merely provides that the Central Government shall provide such assistance as may be required by the Search Committee in efficient discharge of its functions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

The role of the Central Government, which originally included the circulation of vacancies to the Registrars of Supreme Court and High Courts and the issuance of an advertisement, has now been modified and is now limited to providing assistance by the Search Committee. Under the amended rule, the Search Committee will have powers to adopt short-listing norms that it may consider appropriate for the purpose of short-listing of persons.

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