New Delhi, July 17 : The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that a high-powered committee is scheduled to meet on July 19 for the purpose of constituting a search panel for the appointment of a Lokpal.
The government told a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the search committee would have to recommend a panel of names for appointing a Lokpal after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to expeditiously shortlist names for appointment as Lokpal .
The committee comprises the prime minister, the chief justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, the leader of the largest opposition party and an eminent jurist.
The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on July 24 and said since the selection committee was scheduled to meet on July 19, it would not pass any direction.
The court was hearing a contempt petition, filed by senior advocate Shanti Bhushan on behalf of NGO Common Cause, raising the issue of non-appointment of Lokpal despite the apex court’s judgement of April 27 last year.
Prashant Bhushan has filed an application urging the court to directly appoint a Lokpal raising suspicions over the process being adopted by the Centre.
On February 23, the Centre had flagged two hurdles in implementing the Lokpal law, saying that it provides that the selection panel should have the Leader of Opposition (LOP) as one of its members, but there is no recognised Leader of Opposition in the current 16th Lok Sabha.
The other hurdle it cited relates to the tenure of the eminent jurist to be appointed by the selection committee.