Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sunil Jakhar said on Wednesday that Justice Jai Singh Sekhon (retd) should have declined to be the Punjab Lokpal for the sake of "moral and judicial propriety."
Justice Sekhon's brother Janmeja Singh Sekhon is a minister in the Punjab government, Jakhar said.
"Besides, he happens to be related to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as well," Jakhar said in a release here.
Questioning the mode and timing of the appointment of the Lokpal in Punjab, Jakhar said, "The way the government recently appointed Justice Sekhon as the Lokpal out of the blue has raised doubts about the real intentions of the government on the issue."
Sekhon's appointment has defied moral and judicial propriety and the appointment smells of partisan politics, he alleged.
"Suppose a complaint comes against his own brother (Janmeja Singh Sekhon), how will he (Justice Sekhon) act and decide the case in an impartial manner?" Jakhar asked.
The person appointed to head a constitutional body should not only be above board, but should also seem to be above board, he added.
The Punjab government had, in an "apparent bid to circumvent the central law, which is likely going to come into force soon, took recourse to the Punjab Lokpal Act, which does not mandate taking the Leader of the Opposition into confidence," he alleged.
The new central law is on the top priority of the government and may be taken up in the next session of Parliament. It clearly mandates that the Leader of the Opposition has to be taken into confidence before appointing the Lokpal, he said.
The Punjab government had on November 9 appointed Justice Sekhon, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, as the Lokpal.