New Delhi: The Supreme court today reminded the government on the appointment of a Lokpal or corruption watchdog. “We expect the appointment of Lokpal will be made at the earliest possible,” said the court, scheduling the next hearing over the issue on May 15.
The court is acting on a contempt petition filed by senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan. The petition alleges a delay in the appointment of the Lokpal.
The government assured the court that the process of appointing an eminent jurist was on and it would take some time.
“Since the process of appointment of Lokpal is at an advanced stage we will hear the case after four weeks,” said the judges.
The court, in April last year, had told the government that the anti-corruption body needs to be set up without any delay and the lack of a Leader of Opposition should not hold up the process. The ruling meant that the government could finalize Lokpal without taking the Congress, the main opposition group, on board.
The law to set up a Lokpal was passed in parliament way back in 2013 – after a nationwide campaign by activist Anna Hazare that includes Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan and was enacted a year later.
The government had told the court that the there was no possibility to set up Lokpal as there was no Leader of Opposition in the selection panel and a change in the law that would allow the Congress as largest opposition group to become a member has yet to be approved in parliament.
The Congress has so far tried to boycott the meetings of the selection board with its leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, by saying that he has been called as a “special invitee” with the singular intention of excluding the opposition from the selection process.
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