The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the Lokpal bill is a workable piece of legislation and it is not justifiable to keep its operation pending.

Rejecting the government's reasons to delay the appointment, the top court bench said that it did not agree with the Centre that the absence of a leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha was delaying the appointment of a Lokpal.

The court said that the Lokpal can still be selected by a high-level panel led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi even if the 16th Lok Sabha does not have a leader of opposition.

As per the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha should be part of the Lokpal selection panel. However, at present, there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

On 23 November last year, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre over the delay in appointment of a Lokpal saying it should not allow the law to become a dead letter.

(With inputs from agencies)