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Mukul Rohatgi appointed in Lokpal selection panel: Govt to SC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Centre today told the that has been appointed as an eminent jurist in the selection committee for appointment of anti-graft

K K told a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi that the decision to appoint Rohatgi as an eminent jurist in the selection committee, headed by the Prime Minister, was taken on May 11.

Rohatgi was appointed the of on June 19, 2014, soon after the Narendra Modi assumed power in May. He quit the post in June last year.

The post of eminent jurist in the selection panel was lying vacant since the death of P P Rao on September 11, 2017. The committee comprises the Prime Minister, of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, the of the largest opposition party and an eminent jurist.

The bench noted in its order that the next step required to be taken by the selection committee would be to constitute a

"Thereafter the would be required to recommend persons for the appointment of and members of the Lokpal, which again will be considered by the selection committee," the bench noted in its order.

The apex court, while noting that it had passed a verdict on April 27 last year, said that "a period of over a year has lapsed in the meantime".

"However, having regard to the fact that the selection committee comprises of high constitutional functionaries, we do not consider it appropriate to pass any direction for the completion of the process of appointment of within a particular time frame," the bench said.

"Rather, we are of the view that the matter should be left to the wisdom of the high functionaries who constitute the said selection committee. Needless to say, the court would expect the said functionaries to act in the matter in a suitable manner and within an appropriate time frame," the court said and posted the matter for hearing on July 2.

The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by NGO Common Cause, which had raised the issue of non-appointment of the despite the apex court's verdict of April 27 last year.

During his three-year stint as the of the country, Rohatgi had argued many contentious matters like the challenge to National Judicial Appointments Commission Act on appointment of judges for the higher judiciary.

He had also defended the government, which was in a tussle with the Collegium, on the appointment of judges for higher judiciary.

Rohatgi had also led a team of lawyers which had participated in the pre-dawn hearing in the apex court to oppose any relief to Yakub Memon, the lone death row convict in 1993 blasts case. He had represented in the top court in the between the Ambani brothers.

The Centre had earlier told the court that the selection committee has decided to first fill the vacancy of eminent jurist in the Lokpal selection panel before taking further action on appointment of the

The apex court, in its last year's verdict, had said there was no justification to keep the enforcement of Lokpal Act suspended till the proposed amendments, including on the issue of the of Opposition in Lok Sabha, were cleared by Parliament.

It had said the Act was an eminently workable piece of legislation and "does not create any bar to the enforcement of provisions".

The top court had also said that the amendments proposed to 2013, and the views of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, were attempts to streamline the working of the Act and did not constitute legal hindrances or bar its enforcement.

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

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 19:30 IST