BJP leader Arun Jaitley today accused the government of "cutting short procedures" in its "terrible hurry" to appoint members of Lokpal ahead of general elections and packing the committee with its "supporters".
In a write-up titled 'Not the way to appoint a Lokpal', Jaitley said government had tried to "pack" the search committee with its "supporters".
Jaitley also said the manner in which government has invited applications is "inappropriate" and many senior judges had refused to apply as they felt it "compromised their dignity and self-respect".
In the write up, the senior BJP leader said UPA government "is in a terrible hurry to make appointment on the eve of elections and for this purpose is it is cutting short procedures." In the process, both legislative provisions and propriety are being "violated", he added.
Jaitley said Section 4(4) of the Lokpal Act provides that "the Selection Committee shall regulate its own procedure in a transparent manner for selecting the Chairperson and members of the Lokpal."
He said the selection committee had met only once on February 21, and it was understood members of the Search Committee were appointed in the meeting.
"Instead of the procedure for selection being laid down by the Selection Committee, the Department of Personnel Training (DoPT), had taken out an advertisement on January 17, 2014 i.e. on a day that the Selection Committee had not been constituted, inviting applications for appointment as judicial and non-judicial members of the Lokpal," Jaitley said.
He said even though DoPT has no role under the Act, it has framed rules to assign itself a role.
He said neither the selection committee nor the screening committee had in the present case any role in issuing advertisement or inviting applications or short listing the applicants as this entire functioning has been "usurped" by DoPT.