The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Search Committee for the Lokpal to complete the task of shortlisting the names for Lokpal and its members by February end and submit a panel of names for the consideration of the Selection Committee.
It was on September 28 that the central government had constituted an eight-member Search Committee for Lokpal headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.
The Search Committee was to select and propose names for the chairperson and members of the anti-corruption ombudsman.
The Bench, consisting of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, also directed the Government of India to provide the necessary infrastructure for the Search Committee and ensure that necessary manpower is provided to commence its deliberations and finish them within the stipulated time frame.
The Supreme Court had on January 4 ordered the Centre to file an affidavit outlining the steps it had taken since September to appoint the anti-corruption ombudsman and directed Attorney General KK Venugopal to file an affidavit by January 17.
The Supreme Court will now hear the plea for the appointment of Lokpal on March 7.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for the petitioner had raised doubts on the working of Search Committee to which Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi replied, “Don’t look at things from a negative point of view. Look at things positively and world would be a better place. We are trying to make the world a better place.”
Social activist Anna Hazare has also said that he will go on a hunger strike from January 30 at his village in Ralegan Siddhi if the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 are not implemented soon.
(With agency inputs)