Eminent jurist Fali Nariman has refused to be part of the process to select the names for various posts of Lokpal, saying he fears that the multi-layered procedure could overlook the most competent, independent and courageous persons.
In a letter to V Narayanasamy, minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, Nariman said he declines the "honour" to be part of the committee.
"In my humble view, this is no way in which an institution as vital and as important as the Lokpal is to be constituted.
"The chairperson and members of the Lokpal as ultimately selected may well be projected as democratically chosen by a broad consensus from amongst two levels of selectors (upper and lower), but it is precisely for that reason that I do fear that the most competent the most independent and the most courageous will get overlooked," he wrote.
Government had offered him to be a part of the search committee on February 21.
His name was proposed by a five-member selection committee to be a part of the eight member search committee under the Lokpal Act.
The search committee will scrutinise the applications received for the post of chairperson and eight members (four judicial and four non-judicial) and forward the names to the selection committee.
The selection committee comprises Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Supreme Court judge HL Dattu - a nominee of the Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and jurist PP Rao.
Swaraj was outvoted on the choice of Rao, whom she had described as a "Congress loyalist".
She is believed to have recommended the names of Nariman and senior lawyer Harish Salve for the selection committee.