After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said no rules were flouted in an advertisement inviting applications for the post of Lokpal, BJP leader Arun Jaitley Thursday asked him to "reconsider" the position.
Jaitley, in a letter to the prime minister, accused the government of "usurping" powers of the selection committee for appointment of the Lokpal and its members, and demanded withdrawal of the advertisement issued for it calling the move "illegal".
Manmohan Singh, however, wrote back to Jaitley, and said the advertisement was strictly in terms of provisions of the Lokpal Act and the rules framed under it.
Singh also quoted Rule 10 of the Lokpal Rules, 2014.
"The selection committee has neither been fully constituted nor has it met till date. The act itself is clear. The process of selection has to be decided by the selection committee," Jaitley said.
"I would therefore urge you to kindly reconsider the position, that the government has taken in this regard. How these positions are to be filled up is a discretion only of the selection committee, not the search committee," he said.
The prime Minister, in his response to Jaitley, said: "It is not correct to say that the decision regarding selection by inviting applications or otherwise can only be taken by the selection committee."
"While the selection committee shall be free to consider the names other than those recommended by the search committee, it does not necessarily follow that the search committee would be guided by the selection committee in the manner of selection of panel of names as the Act clearly provides for rules to be framed in this regard."