Search Committee appointed to nominate Lokpal chairperson, members

New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government on Thursday appointed a Search Committee to nominate the chairperson and the members of the Lokpal.

Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai has been nominated as the chairperson of the committee, a government release confirmed.

Former State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati head A.

Surya Prakash, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar, Justice Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, former judge of Allahabad High Court, Shabbirhusein S. Khandwawala, former Gujarat Police head, Lalit K Panwar, retired IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, and Ranjit Kumar are among the members of the committee.

The decision to appoint the committee comes in the wake of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge declining a series of invitations to attend meetings of the Lokpal Selection Committee. He declined invitations for meetings on March 1, April 10, July 19, August 21, September 04 and September 19.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister on September 19, Kharge had expressed his displeasure and objected the invitation to the panel meetings, saying that he would not have the right to participate, record an opinion or vote. He further alleged that the government extended him an invitation as a “Special Invitee” to exclude the voice of the opposition in a parliamentary democracy.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas are governing bodies at the Centre and state levels respectively, appointed to check corruption by all public servants, including the Prime Minister. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act was passed in the year 2013.