Lokpal case in SC today: Appointment of ombudsman likely to be delayed further as search panel hasn't met in 3 months

The Supreme Court on Thursday is scheduled to hear the matter of the appointment of the Lokpal, while reports say the appointment of the anti-corruption body itself is likely to be delayed.

As directed by the apex court on 4 January, the Centre on Thursday submitted an affidavit to the court, informing it that a search committee had been formed. However, according to CNN News18, the search committee has not held any meetings in the past 100 days, which points to a delayed hearing.

The Modi government, on 28 September, had constituted the eight-member search committee, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, to recommend the chairperson and members of the anti-corruption authority.

Lokpal case in SC today: Appointment of ombudsman likely to be delayed further as search panel hasnt met in 3 months

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

The committee, formed despite concerns raised by the Congress, has former chief of the State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash and Indian Space Research Organisation head AS Kiran Kumar as members.

Besides them, former judge of the Allahabad High Court Justice Sakha Ram Singh Yadav; former Gujarat Police chief Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala; retired IAS officer Lalit K Panwar; and former Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar are the other members of the panel, according to an official order issued by the personnel ministry.

Meanwhile, social activist Anna Hazare, seeking the implementation of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, on 7 January said he will go on a hunger strike starting 30 January at his village in Ralegan Siddhi. According to The Indian Express, Hazare wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it was "becoming difficult to bear the lies of the government."

Hazare wrote, "In our country, the Constitution is right on top. To run the country on democratic principles, Parliament has been set up as a constitutional body. No matter which party the government belongs to, to run the country on democratic lines, it is important to abide by the decision of a constitutional body… But you and your government are not implementing the decision of constitutional bodies. I think this is a threat to our democracy."

The veteran social activist had earlier announced he would launch a hunger strike on 2 October, 2018, at his village over non-appointment of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states. But he had withdrawn the proposed protest after the Maharashtra government assured him that it will look into his demands.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2019 10:19:23 IST

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