In what is being seen as a massive embarrassment for the government, top jurist Fali Nariman has refused to participate in the Lokpal selection process.
According to television reports, Nariman sent the Union government an angry letter, slamming the selection process as 'ludicrous' and a 'farce'.
The letter added that his fear with the current selection process was that "the most competent, the most independent and the most courageous will get overlooked".
The other members chosen for the search committee are former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi; principal of Delhi's Lady Shri Ram College Meenakshi Gopinath; educationist Mrinal Miri; the former Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Kaki Madhava Rao; and senior journalist and Rajya Sabha Member HK Dua.
It seeks to find members for the various posts of the Lokpal.
The constitution of the Lokpal had already run into problems with the Prime Minister's appointment of PP Rao as the 'eminent jurist' in the panel being opposed by the BJP.
The BJP objection to Rao was on the ground that "he is too much of a Congress loyalist".
According to this Times of India report, despite Swaraj suggesting the name of former Attorney General K Parasaran, the Prime Minister Singh went ahead with Rao's name.
"I feel that when the country is finally getting a Lokpal after 40 years, it should be an unanimous decision. It looks like the Lokpal will also be chosen in a manner which would ensure that he or she is a Congress loyalist. It is sad since people will have no faith in the Lokpal chosen in this manner," the report quoted her as saying.
Speaking to the Times Now channel, BJP spokesman Nirmala Sitharaman said that Nariman's refusal to be a part of the search committee only went on to highlight the problems with the selection of the Lokpal, and said it was time for the UPA government to take a hard look at its processes.
Updated Date: Feb 27, 2014 11:20 AM