Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatagi headed committee has submitted to the Centre its report on amendments in Lokpal search panel rules, which were notified by the previous UPA government. The committee was formed to look into changes in the rules of the search panel, mandated to recommend names for appointment of chairperson and members of the Lokpal.
The committee has submitted its report and it is under examination of the government, official sources said. The government will go ahead with appointments of Lokpal only after the amendments are carried out in the rules, they said. The UPA government could not go ahead with the much- touted appointment of chairperson and members of Lokpal due to BJP's objection to the selection procedure.
As per the existing rules, an eight-member search panel is tasked to draw up a panel of persons for consideration by the selection committee led by the Prime Minister for appointment of chairperson and members of the Lokpal. The search panel has to choose these persons from among the panel provided by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the rules say.
However, the government is likely to empower the search committee to also include people from outside the list to be provided by the DoPT for consideration by the selection committee, the sources said. The validity of Lokpal search committee's rules has been challenged before the Supreme Court also. During the course of hearing, the government had informed the court that it would re-examine the issue and make formal amendments to the rules.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act provides for the establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into corruption charges against public functionaries. The Lokpal selection committee, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has as its members the Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of Opposition in the Lower House, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the President or any other member.