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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 25, 2014
Under fire for rushing the appointment of Lokpal, the Centre has said there’s no plan to take immediate decision on the matter. Indicating that the decision might be left to the new government, solicitor general Mohan Parasaran told the Supreme Court on Thursday that no meeting chaired by the prime minister was scheduled in this regard and no appointment would happen immediately.

Parasaran had made the statement in response to a PIL by the NGO Common Cause, which accused the government of proceeding with the appointment of the chairperson and members of the Lokpal. The court was testing the validity of the appointment rules. The bench headed by Justice RM Lodha has posted the matter for hearing on May 5.

HT was the first to report how the outgoing UPA government was in a hurry to appoint the chairperson of the Lokpal even when there was no search committee in place. In the two-tier selection process, the search committee has to shortlist the candidates, which are finally cleared by the selection committee headed by the PM. Four sitting SC judges are understood to have applied for the post.

In a letter to the selection committee members in the second week of April, the PM had asked them to indicate dates between April 24 and 28 for the meeting. The move had attracted strong criticism from the BJP and jurists, who questioned its propriety. Common Cause took the matter to the court, seeking an immediate stay on the meeting.