Can’t keep hanging, pick Lokpal without Leader of Opposition: SC

The bench maintained that the government does not need to wait for the law to change so that the position of Leader of Opposition in the selection committee can be substituted with the leader of the single largest party in the Opposition.

Written by Utkarsh Anand , Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published:April 28, 2017 4:40 am
supreme court, Lokpal, Lokpal appointment, lok sabha, Lokayuktas Act, Lokayuktas Act 2013, PM modi, lok sabha speaker, how to appoint lokpal, lokpal appointment procedure, indian express news, india news The Supreme Court. (File Photo)

THE SUPREME Court ruled on Thursday that the Lokpal could be appointed even in the absence of a Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Stating that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is an “eminently workable piece of legislation”, the court said “there is no justification to keep the enforcement of the Act under suspension till the amendments, as proposed, are carried out”.

Under the Act, the Lokpal has to be appointed by a selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or his nominee, and an eminent jurist. But since the Congress does not have the required 10 per cent of the total seats in the Lok Sabha, it has been denied the Leader of Opposition’s status.

“If, at present, the Leader of Opposition is not available, surely, the chairperson and other two members of the selection committee, namely, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, may proceed to appoint an eminent jurist as a member of the selection committee under Section 4(1)(e) of the Act,” held a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha.

The bench maintained that the government does not need to wait for the law to change so that the position of Leader of Opposition in the selection committee can be substituted with the leader of the single largest party in the Opposition.

Responding to the PILs filed by NGOs Common Cause and Youth For Equality, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had earlier told the bench that the Act was being amended to make the necessary substitution. He said the Lokpal selection process would begin when the amendment is passed by Parliament.

But senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan and advocate Gopal Sankaranarayana, who represented the NGOs, had claimed that the government was delaying the amendment since it did not want a Lokpal. They said the government had already amended various other statutes, including those for selection of Chief Vigilance Commissioner, CBI chief and Chief Information Commissioner, to make the change with regard to Leader of Opposition.

In December, the apex court had asked the government whether it would make the change on its own, or if it should read down the Lokpal Act to give a place to the leader of the single largest opposition party in the selection committee. The court had observed that it would not let the Lokpal become “a dead letter” or “redundant”.

However, the bench declared on Thursday that the government could appoint the Lokpal right away without waiting for the law to change. “The Act, as it stands today, is an eminently workable piece of legislation and there is no justification to keep the enforcement of the Act under suspension till the amendments, as proposed, are carried out,” it said.

Reacting to the court’s ruling, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told The Indian Express that the government could have issued an ordinance if it wanted the Lokpal to become functional. He expressed concern that after the SC ruling, the government could appoint anyone, without consulting the Opposition.

The court also held that there was no “legal disability” for the selection committee — without the Leader of Opposition — to constitute a search committee to prepare a panel of persons for consideration for appointment as the chairperson and members of the Lokpal.

“…absence of such a provision (in the Act), by itself, will not invalidate the constitution of the search committee by the truncated selection committee when the Act specifically ‘empowers’ a truncated selection committee to make recommendations for appointment of the chairperson or members of the Lokpal. To hold otherwise would be self-contradictory,” said the bench.

The bench also held that there was no “constitutional infirmity” in the Lokpal Act if it had not given primacy to the opinion of the Chief Justice of India as a member of the selection committee. “It is not the mandate of the Constitution that in all matters concerning the appointment to various offices in different bodies, primacy must be accorded to the opinion of the CJI or his nominee,” said the bench as it dismissed a petition that questioned the validity of a provision in the Act in this regard.

About a recommendation by a parliamentary standing committee in 2015 to replace the Leader of Opposition with the “Leader of largest Opposition Party”, the court said this was “merely an opinion” which has to be first considered by the Executive, and then approved by the Legislature. “The said opinion… would therefore not be sacrosanct. The same, in any case, does not have any material bearing on the validity of the existing provisions of the Act,” it said.

The court said that various other recommendations of the committee were aimed at streamlining the operation of the Act. “Such attempts cannot halt the operation and execution of the law, which the Executive in its wisdom has already given effect to and has brought into force by resorting to the provisions of Section 1(4) of the Act,” it held.

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  1. L
    lara joy
    Apr 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm
    I was haven herpes 2 on my private part. I have had them for about 2 and a bit years. I am so scared what my mates are going to says if there should fined out i have herpes on my private part and due to the virus my girlfriend broke up with me. I have been to the Doctors 9 times to get it treated. They all come back. I have been using Tee Tree Oil and Wartner (You freeze them at home) and they seem to be keeping the smaller herpes small but they can't seem to treat the larger ones. They don't get any bigger, but then they can't shrink as much. They get smaller a little part at a time. At least they are getting smaller! As soon as I see a new herpes appearing, then I treat it. At the moment I have been using Tee Tree twice a week and then using Wartner every 2 weeks. I was wondering if there was any other information about how to get rid of it. I am only a teenager and I hate it most when it get pi-chins me to scratch it, it get sweets when scratching it most times! I want to get rid of
    Reply
    1. S
      S. Gowrishankar,
      Apr 28, 2017 at 4:43 pm
      The supreme court so called again is interfering with the government and parliament. A day is going to come when the parliament, the government and the army will tell the supreme court judges rather the stupid court judges to mind their bloody business and not to interfere with the administration of the government lest they are arrested for contempt of the people of India. The rogue judges do not seem to estimate the undercurrent that is developing rapidly with the people of India against the misdemeanors of those judges and will soon explode. The judges are thinking they are Gods. Those rascal judges must be brought to justice.
      Reply
      1. K
        kripashankar
        Apr 28, 2017 at 11:53 pm
        PERHAPS YOU DO NOT KNOW ANY THING ABOUT THE BOOK CALLED THE CONS UTION OF INDIA . UNLESS YOU CHANGE YOUR NAME TO SHIV SHANKAR YOU WONT BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND IT
        Reply
      2. E
        Editor
        Apr 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm
        Who is this Bhangi Kharge who was cleaning our toilets till the other day to give any opinion?
        Reply
        1. K
          Kabir
          Apr 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm
          hmm kharge never clean toilets, instead those wearing threads were serving his courts before his ancestors were stabbed in back . check your ancestoral history you probably were migrated to do exactly the job that you hate now.
          Reply
        2. R
          Rohan
          Apr 28, 2017 at 3:26 pm
          A Lokpal may ask uncomfortable questions that would prick the modi bubble so not acceptable. What is really amazing is the silence of 'anna' Hazare. Why is is quiet? I hope he is not adopting he monetary value of 'his' name!!
          Reply
          1. S
            sriram
            Apr 28, 2017 at 3:08 pm
            The same SC will say wrong if the Govt had picked a lokpal head without opposiiton leader if congress file any pe ion in this connnection
            Reply
            1. M
              Mohmed
              Apr 28, 2017 at 2:09 pm
              Where was the Supreme Court when mafia Sonia was looting the nation for ten years?How much money these judges have got to har the BJP?Why do they interfere in the functions purely handled by the Executive.why this over activism suddenly?Just because we cant express our views for fear of Contempt?
              Reply
              1. M
                mumbikar
                Apr 28, 2017 at 1:36 pm
                lokpal bill was adopted by parliament just before the 2014 election, modi came to power in may 2014 with alot of lies and false propa a, that is showing every day !!! as long as modi/shah are ruling, there will never be a Lokpal, because they did not want that in Gujarat either for the simple reason, if that ever happens than modi/shah cupboard will be opened and alot of skeletons will come tumbling out !!!! than the world will get to see how much of a OBC and self proclaimed Fakir he really is !!!! he shows the world that he is innocent, but in reality he is just a devil in disguise !!!
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                1. M
                  Madarchod editor
                  Apr 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm
                  Who is this accusing the PM? editor no one questions the personal integrity of the PM? how much money you have got from mafia Sonia who had looted the nation to accuse the PM?
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    s s nair
                    Apr 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm
                    Big propa a less overnance.
                  2. E
                    Editor
                    Apr 28, 2017 at 2:17 pm
                    Basatdr editor where is my reply ?
                    Reply
                    1. E
                      Editor
                      Apr 28, 2017 at 2:18 pm
                      editor where is my reply?
                      Reply
                      1. E
                        Editor
                        Apr 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm
                        editor where is my reply?
                        Reply
                        1. E
                          Editor
                          Apr 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm
                          editor where is my reply?
                          Reply
                        2. P
                          Parth Garg
                          Apr 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm
                          Is it a carte-blanche for the government to appoint a Yes Man as the Lokpal?
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            anil
                            Apr 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm
                            SC teaching government to by-p law... HA HA HA
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                            1. M
                              M Shukla
                              Apr 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm
                              BJP agent Anna hazare jumps to criticise Kejriwal but remains mute when the BJP does not appoint lokpal even after 3 years
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                              1. K
                                Kumar
                                Apr 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm
                                Annaji got all rights to criticise Keju as he hijacked Annaji party and kicked him out. He is not a BJP agents, its a matter of time, Lokpal also will be introduced, why to criticise a 3 year govt when you were silent for 60 years. Modiji and Team are doing good governance and already done a lot for poor and common people. There are many important acts like Uniform Civil Code, to remove Article 370 and make Kashmir a normal state and so on. Govt got prioritise and support. Pls keep politics out of this and support whoever doing a good job unlike his and Team who were looted India and helped m conversion and trying projected India as a weak Nation till date.
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  P.C.Kulkarni
                                  Apr 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm
                                  What an ignorant bhakt. Lokpal bill was p ed in early 2014.Where is the question of 60 years?And good governance is only for blind bhakts like you.
                              2. L
                                laxmam
                                Apr 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm
                                this is game between bRAWmins of govt and bRAWmins of supreme corrupt - lokpal without teeths - no opposition leader what is mokery LOL
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  kg
                                  Apr 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm
                                  In order to understand what is happening you have to understand how judges of supreme court are appointed.You just need a degree in law from any university (even open university) and then prove you have 'practiced' for 10 years.That is all.If you are in good books of 'appointment committee' i;e; a panel of judges you can become a judge and once you become a judge, no one can remove you, or question you, except by impeachment in parliament which is so rare that only one judge has been impeached in Indian history, I think.Now you can imagine how Congress could have influenced this process in appointments when it was in power for so many years.Rest you are smart enough to understand.
                                  Reply
                                  1. O
                                    Observer
                                    Apr 28, 2017 at 12:17 pm
                                    Good, considered ruling from SC on the Lokpal Bill. Huge delays caused for decades. Time now long last to implement the Bill very early.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sankaran Krishnan
                                      Apr 28, 2017 at 11:51 am
                                      Why the Centre is delaying due to procedural formalities and instead put up in the cabinet and once approved and in due course the procedure can be followed into Law and there is no need to hang up the Lokpal in the name of Leader of Opposition status and the same might have convened to the court which might have also accepted and now it conveys the same view point !!!
                                      Reply
                                      1. K
                                        Kapil Dev Suri
                                        Apr 28, 2017 at 11:18 am
                                        THE COURTS ARE UN NECESSARY INTERFERING THE WORKING OF EXECUTIVE . THEIR WORK IS INTERPRETATION OF CONS UTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF LAW . WHEN THE CONGRESS WAS IN POWER THERE WAS NO RECOGNIZED OPPOSITION LEADER AS PER RULE . ALTHOUGH BJP WAS SINGLE LARGEST PARTY . THEN WHY COURTS WERE MUM THEN HOW CAN NOW THEY FORCE THE GOVT TO TREAT SINGLE LARGEST PARTY AS LEGALLY OPPOSITION PARTY STATUS . COURTS ARE ALSO INTERFERING IN DEFENSE MATTER WHICH ARE VITAL FOR THE SECURITY OF NATION . THEY HAVE SYMPATHY WITH THE TERRORIST SAFETY NOT OUR JAWANS SAFETY . THEY ARE JUST PROVERB ROME JAL RAHA HAI NEERU BANSI BAJA RAHA THA . THEY INSTRUCTED THE GOVT THAT MILITARY SHOULD NOT USE PELLET GUN FOR THE SAFETY OF TERRORIST BUT DON'T CARE FOR TERRORIST , MAOIST KILLING THIRTY MILITARY PERSON IN TWO DAYS COURT SHOULD REFRAIN FROM POKING THEIR NOSE IN EVERY MATTER . THEY BEHAVE LIKE SUPER GOVERNMENT WHICH IN UNDESIRABLE . ?
                                        Reply
                                        1. H
                                          Hanglur Srinivas Varna
                                          Apr 28, 2017 at 10:21 am
                                          No political party wants Lokpal or Lokayukta, because it is going to be against their interest. In addition to that with existing Lokayukta Act itself, protection to corrupt officials and politician in the name of taking permission from competent authority. And, very obviously no government will permit prosecution of officials and politicians who are dear to party which is in power. Why should Lokapal or Lokaukta need to take permission to prosecute persons who are found to be corrupt. This is atrocious to have such provision in the Act.
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                                            Nitin Deolekar
                                            Apr 28, 2017 at 10:15 am
                                            first supreme courts must do common civil code?? & then the Lokpal!! ISIS Terrorist are growing in India due to the BIGGEST Ever mistake in History of India for last 5000 years. Pseudo?Secular??Nehru-Ambedkar totally failed to do even bare minimal common civil code? for independent India. Unnecessarily Gifted undue facilities to Muslims who did not go to Pak opted to remain in India. Mr.Ambedkar forced 1-wife act by law on poor Hindu, now forcing Hindu to struggle in courts even for simple divorce; wasting Money & Prime Time in Life for years together; so due to delay no child after 2nd marriage? Same Ambedkar left muslims free to do 4-shaadi verbal Talak!! is it Pseudo Secular idea of Equality?? It is resulting 50 fast growth of Muslims in India, hence their poverty & then ISIS Terror taking education in Madr ah! now sad but bad need to reverse Mr.Ambedkar wrong laws! dare do apply 1-wife act to Muslims and allow 2-shadi written Talak for Hindu! Apply 1-child china law2muslims
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                                            1. P
                                              P.C.Kulkarni
                                              Apr 28, 2017 at 10:46 am
                                              Lokpal and common civil code are two entirely different aspects. Off course it is difficult for bhakts to realise
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                                              1. N
                                                Nitin Deolekar
                                                Apr 28, 2017 at 11:09 am
                                                Talibani Broke Buddha Statues in Afgan.. When growing ISIS Terrors may do same in India with Statues of Pseudo Secular Leaders, then you may realize?? Also it may be bit difficult for you to understand Maths; Yet fact is Damage due to No common civil code is 1000 Times Panipat war or 10 Times the 1st world war for India..But Pseudo Secular Like you may never even imagine the Losses not for mere Hindu, but also for Buddha & the W Human being.. try to ready ISIS Cruelty..
                                                1. K
                                                  Kumar
                                                  Apr 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm
                                                  Common Civil Code is the most important thing to happen now, otherwise India is going to be a disaster. You blind fold people are still sleeping and silent. Now can any hindu comment on any sensational issue, NO. Did any non Hindus commented on sensational issues, YES. Did any of them arrested or punished, NO. After the minority bill p ed, non hindus can say anything, can arrange love Jihad every time, can kill anyone who oppose or refuse to convert, YES, no law can punish them. Why this difference. Law should be equal to all Indians irrespective of religion, region or poor or rich. Then only people start respect law and live and let live others peacefully. Its a fact that only Hindus are respecting Indian Law and others are free to marry any time, have children of any number and can do any crime and escape, as they are supported by the Church or Mosque and our Courts are not allowed to trial them. There is a hidden agenda to covert and to increase their numbers to get majority. JAGO
                                                  1. K
                                                    KAPIL DEV
                                                    Apr 28, 2017 at 3:58 pm
                                                    BHAGATS ARE LOYAL TO THEIR MOTHER LAND YOU PAK BHAGAT AND ITALY BHAGAT ARE SLAVE OF MADAM AND YOU TRAITOR ARE LOYAL TO EAST INDIA COMPANY OF ITALY AND STAN . ?
                                                2. M
                                                  mariam
                                                  Apr 28, 2017 at 8:41 am
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                                                  Reply
                                                  1. R
                                                    rk
                                                    Apr 28, 2017 at 9:44 am
                                                    Good to hear that you have been cured of CANCER...but sorry to say you chose wrong platform to show your gra ude.
                                                    Reply
                                                    1. P
                                                      Preet
                                                      Apr 28, 2017 at 1:05 pm
                                                      Could you please send your Num & address in Canada
                                                  2. J
                                                    Joshyramamurthy Murthy
                                                    Apr 28, 2017 at 8:32 am
                                                    Lokpal is lowdae kae baal
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                                                    1. B
                                                      Blah.blah
                                                      Apr 28, 2017 at 9:24 am
                                                      Modi Kae Baal
                                                      Reply
                                                    2. S
                                                      s s nair
                                                      Apr 28, 2017 at 8:19 am
                                                      Now there is no need for Lok Pal there is Modi pal.
                                                      Reply
                                                      1. T
                                                        Tushar
                                                        Apr 28, 2017 at 10:54 am
                                                        😂😂😂😂
                                                        Reply
                                                      2. R
                                                        rajan
                                                        Apr 28, 2017 at 8:01 am
                                                        Though SC has given this verdict to accelerate the process of appointing members of the Committee rather than not giving effect to Lok Pal Act, Modi the Crook, shall use it to his advantage. Now, he has got the liberty to appoint one of his sychophants as a pliable Lok Pal who might rather prefer to conceal his acts of commission than keeping a check on them
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                                                          Truth
                                                          Apr 28, 2017 at 8:23 am
                                                          Exactly.....I had great hopes from the current CJI.....he retires in August !
                                                          Reply
                                                          1. R
                                                            rk
                                                            Apr 28, 2017 at 9:46 am
                                                            You can file a PIL and get stay on appointment....don't worry about the cost, i will bear it MF....
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                                                            1. K
                                                              Kapil Dev Suri
                                                              Apr 28, 2017 at 11:28 am
                                                              you seem to be son of crook couple . badtameez . ?
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