Seeking to stall the final push by the UPA government to appoint India’s first Lokpal, a plea was moved by an NGO in the Supreme Court Thursday contending that no appointment can be made till the court rules on the validity of the provisions for selection.
PM Manmohan Singh had on April 11 written to all the members of the Selection Committee, proposing a meting between April 24 and 28 to appoint the Lokpal and its members.
Asserting the need to appoint the chairperson and members of the Lokpal “as early as possible”, Singh had said the meeting was “essential”.
On Thursday, the NGO, Common Cause, on whose PIL the Supreme Court had last month asked the Centre to justify its rules on appointment of Lokpal, filed an application in the court to direct the government to put the entire selection process in abeyance.
“The latest move by the government to proceed with appointment of chairperson and members of the Lokpal, even while this Hon’ble Court is seized of the issue of the validity of the rules framed under the Lokpal Act, is not only improper but also illegal and arbitrary. The government is going ahead with the selection process in spite of serious flaws in the rules of selection, which are under challenge,” stated the plea.
“It is because of these illegal and arbitrary provisions of the said rules that Hon’ble Justice K T Thomas, who was offered the post of the chairperson of the committee, and Fali Nariman, who was selected as one of its members, declined to accept their respective offers,” it added. The application said the haste with which the selection process was being rushed through by the Centre during elections “indicates a mala fide intent to subvert the process of law and appoint pliable and undeserving persons to the crucial institution of the Lokpal”.
SC refuses plea for probe into Army role in Lanka
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday refused to admit a plea seeking probe by a Special Investigative Team into the alleged role of Indian Army in Sri Lankan government’s 2008-2009 operation against LTTE. The court said the issue was beyond its domain and had “political shades”.
“There are issues which are absolutely beyond the domain of the court and this is one of them,” said a bench of justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph. The bench asked the petitioner, advocate V Ram Sankar, to approach the competent authorities. “This is not a matter of judicial review…Court is not equipped to go into issues which have different ramifications and political shades,” it said. Sankar later withdrew the petition. ENS