Search Committee on Lok pal
03, Sep 2018
Prelims level : International Organisation Mains level : GS Paper – II Statutory, regulatory and Quari – Judicial bodies
- The Centre on Thursday constituted an eight-member search committee to be headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, to recommend the chairperson and members of the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal.
- The search committee was appointed by the selection committee which comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, leader of the largest opposition party, which in this case was Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge, and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi.
- The search committee consists of former State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson A. Surya Prakash and former Indian Space Research Organisation head A.S. Kiran Kumar.
- The step comes after the Supreme Court’s order to appoint Lokpal at the earliest. The search committee is a major step towards setting up of the Lok pal.
- The decision to constitute the search committee comes four years after the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, which envisages establishment of anti-graft body Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed in 2013.
- As per the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, only the leader of the opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha is a member of the selection committee and since, Kharge does not have that status, he is not a part of the panel. A party should have at least 55 seats or 10 per cent of the strength of the Lok Sabha for its leader to get the LoP status.
- The Lokpal selection committee headed by the prime minister has as its members the Lok Sabha speaker, leader of the opposition in the lower house, the chief justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the president or any other member.
- The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and four judicial and four non-judicial members.
- According to the Lokpal Act, the chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President on the basis of recommendations of the selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of Opposition in the House, the Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist.
- For selecting the chairperson and the members, the selection committee shall constitute a search panel of at least eight persons.
- Under the Lokpal Act of 2013, the DoPT is supposed to put together a list of candidates interested to be chairperson or members of the Lokpal .
- This list would then go to the proposed eight-member search committee, which would shortlist names and place them before the selection panel headed by the Prime Minister. The selection panel may or may not pick names suggested by the search committee.