Supreme Court judge Justice R M Lodha on Monday ruled himself out of the race for Lokpal saying he will be the last person to accept the post.
Justice Lodha, who is scheduled to retire on September 27, will have five months as Chief Justice of India after CJI P Sathasivam retires on April 26.
There were speculations that both Chief Justice Sathasivam and Justice Lodha will be eligible to become Lokpal since Justice H L Dattu, third in seniority in the Supreme Court, was nominated for the Lokpal selection committee.
Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam has nominated his senior colleague Justice H L Dattu to the Lokpal selection committee, according to highly placed sources.
The Lokpal Bill provides for a selection committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, CJI or “a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI”, and a fifth member selected by these four members. This five-member selection committee will choose the Lokpal and other members.
According to the Bill, the fifth member will be an “eminent jurist” who will be nominated by the President on the basis of recommendations of the first four members of the committee “through consensus”. The appointment of the eminent jurist is significant because this member may tilt the balance in case of a tie.