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Kharge rejects invite to attend Lokpal panel meet

IANS  |  New Delhi 

has refused the government's offer to attend the scheduled meeting of the on Friday, saying there was no provision for a "Special Invitee" to attend the meet.

"Since there is no provision under Section 4 of the Act, 2013 for a Special Invitee to be a part of the or attend these meetings, I am once again forced to respectfully decline this invitation," Kharge wrote in a letter to

His letter dated March 14 came following a letter by the inviting him to attend the meeting.

The Opposition also accused the government of using his refusal to attend the past meetings of the as a special invitee as an "excuse" to not appoint a

This is the seventh time Kharge has refused to attend the Selection Committee meeting.

"Since 2014, the government has not made any attempt to amend the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act to include the of the single largest party in the Opposition to be a member of the Selection Committee," he wrote.

Kharge said a Special Invitee would not have any rights of participation in the process of selection of the Lokpal and that he cannot accept the Opposition being made voiceless in a critical manner.

"However, the fact remains that whatever tardy progress the government has made has only been under pressure from the Supreme Court," he said.

"By excluding the Opposition, this process is being vitiated and I would like to caution the government that anyone selected through this one-sided process may decline to accept this position," Kharge said.

The had on March 7 sought to know, within 10 days, the possible date for the Selection Committee's meeting to finalise names for the Lokpal -- a three-member, anti-watchdog comprising a chairman, a judicial and non-judicial member.

A Search Committee was constituted under Section 4(3) of the Lokayuktas Act, 2013 for the purpose of recommending a panel of names for the appointment of the and members of the Lokpal.

The Committee comprises Justice (former of Supreme Court) and members Justice (former of Allahabad High Court), (former of India), (former of SBI), Dr (former Secretary), (retired of Gujarat), (Chairman, Prasar Bharti) and Dr (former of ISRO).



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 18:14 IST