Reacting to PM Manmohan Singh’s argument that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) was within norms to issue advertisements for Chairman and Members of the Lokpal, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley Thursday cited provisions of Lokpal and Lokayukta laws to urge the PM to “reconsider” his position.
In what could be an embarrassment for PMO, the senior BJP leader and noted lawyer sought to underline to the PM that his objection to DoPT advertisements were centred on violation of Section 4(4) of the Act while the PM’s reply tried to duck objections in a letter sent earlier this month citing Section 4(5) of the Act to justify the DoPT move.
“Your reply mentioned that advertisement issued for appointment of the Chairperson of Lokpal and other Members is in terms of section 4(5) of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act and rule 10 of the Rules framed under the Act . The relevant provision is section 4(4) and not section 4(5) of the Act,” Jaitley has written to PM objecting to his reply. The PM, in his reply, claimed DoPT advertisements were well within Rule 10 of the Lokpal Rules, 2014 notified recently.
Jaitley, in another letter sought to underline disjointed reading of the two provisions is likely to undermine the Selection Committee mechanism prescribed for selection of Lokpal and its members. “Section 4(5) has to be read harmoniously with section 4(4). It cannot be read in a manner to make section 4(4) otiose and non-existent,” Jaitley argued.