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Wait for Lokpal Gets Longer, Centre Doesn't Give a Timeline

In its latest affidavit, the government cited rules and provisions of the Lokpal Act to highlight the procedure but failed to suggest any time frame for appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 17, 2018, 9:41 AM IST
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Wait for Lokpal Gets Longer, Centre Doesn't Give a Timeline
The Supreme Court on July 2 set a 10-day deadline for the central govt to share a timeline on the much-delayed appointment of the Lokpal. (File photo)
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New Delhi: The wait for India's first Lokpal gets only longer. The central government has chosen not to give a definite timeline in the Supreme Court for the appointment of the Lokpal.

In its latest affidavit, the government cited rules and provisions of the Lokpal Act to highlight the procedure but failed to suggest any time frame for appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman.

While the Supreme Court had on July 2 given a 10-day deadline for informing about the timeline, the affidavit said that the Search Committee will have to be first constituted and that a meeting has been fixed for July 19 in this regard.

The affidavit by DoPT Secretary pointed out that the Selection Committee, comprising the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Chief Justice of India or his nominee and the eminent jurist, will have to nominate at least seven persons as members of the Search Committee.

Once constituted, the Search Committee will lay down its procedure, after which the Selection Committee will fix a time period for the Search Committee to shortlist candidates and recommend for appointment as chairman and members of Lokpal.

According to the affidavit, since the Search Committee is not in place, there cannot be a timeline for submission of names for consideration and thus, no certain time frame.

The government's affidavit will be taken up by the top court on Tuesday.

In its July 2 order, the court had said: “Before passing any order we would like the competent authority of the Union of India to place before us the precise details of the further steps required to be taken in the matter of appointment of Lokpal indicating the time-frame within which each of the stages of the appointment process is expected to be completed."

But with no definite timeline coming forth, the hearing is expected to spark searching questions and ire from the court.
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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