New Delhi: Government has decided to go ahead with the appointments to various statutory bodies like CVC, NHRC and Lokpal without the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as a member of the selection committee choosing them.
The move comes following a recent reference from the Lok Sabha secretariat in this regard, official sources said. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had written to the Lok Sabha seeking information on the LoP. The secretariat has informed the DoPT that there is no recognised LoP in the Lok Sabha, they said.
The Government will go ahead with the appointments to various statutory bodies without the LoP, the sources said. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had rejected Congress' demand for LoP status for its nominee.
Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP's 282 but fell short by 11 to stake claim for the LoP for which it requires a strength of 55.
There is no mandatory requirement of the LoP in the selection committee that recommends persons for Central Vigilance Commissioner, Vigilance Commissioner, chairpersons and members for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Lokpal, they said.
The appointment of a Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner is done by the President on the basis of recommendation from a three member selection committee headed by Prime Minister and comprising Minister for Home Affairs and the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People, as per the Central Vigilance Act 2003.
The Act further has a provision that when no such leader (LoP) has been recognised then the selection committee can include the leader of the single largest group in opposition in the Lok Sabha.
"No appointment of a Central Vigilance Commissioner or a Vigilance Commissioner shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the Committee," the Act says.