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No decision on Lokpal appointment: Centre to Supreme Court

Posted on Apr 24 2014 | IBNS

New Delhi, Apr 24 : The Congress-led Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it will not take any immediate decision on Lokpal appointment.

The apex court on Thursday took up the hearing of a Public-Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the selection process for Lokpal appointment.

The Supreme Court will hear the case next on May 5.

Earlier on Apr 20, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley said that the UPA government's "unholy haste" in the appointment of a Lokpal will destroy its credibility.

"It would be a gross political impropriety and violation of the Code of Conduct, if the UPA would rush through its appointment at this stage. Besides this, the procedure is legally a suspect. Such unholy haste will destroy the credibility of the Lok Pal even before it is formed," Arun Jaitley wrote in his blog.

He asked for the process to be stopped immediately.

"This procedure should be stopped immediately. The effort of the Prime Minister's office to convene a meeting of the Selection Committee for filling up the vacancies of the Search Committee should not be allowed to succeed," his blog said.

He said the Lokpal appointment controversy "refuses to die."

"The UPA government has framed rules under the Lok Pal Act. The rules prima facie run contrary to the Act. This is already a subject matter of a challenge before the Supreme Court," Jaitley noted.

"Half the elections in the country have been completed. 26 days are remaining for the declaration of the results and the formation of a new government. Is it proper for the UPA, on the eve of its certain departure, to rush through with the appointment of the Lok Pal? Certainly not," the BJP leader wrote.

"On the eve of the announcement of the elections, the UPA government decided to rush through with the appointment of the Chairperson of the Lok Pal and its members. A Search Committee was hurriedly appointed. The Department of Personnel usurped the power of the Search Committee and prepared a short list of persons from whom the appointments would to be made," he wrote.

"Everyone including some distinguished members of the Search Committee were uneasy about the procedure being followed. Two eminent members Fali S. Nariman and Justice K.T.Thomas resigned from the Search Committee citing this as the reason," Jaitley claimed in his blog.

The senior BJP leader did not even spare Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said he must introspect over the issue.

"While Dr.Manmohan Singh is now in a retirement mode, he must seriously introspect if this unholy haste in pushing a Lok Pal on the eve of certain departure is implemented, he will only be remembered as Prime Minister who subverted institutions at the behest of his party leadership," Jaitley wrote.

"Even now if he tries to act with unholy haste, the entire democratic system of India is strong enough not to permit him to succeed. The Prime Minister has nothing to lose except some residual creditability," his blog said.

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