SC verdict likely today on petitions seeking appointment of Lokpal | india-news | Hindustan Times
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SC verdict likely today on petitions seeking appointment of Lokpal

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on a bunch of petitions seeking appointment of a Lokpal, the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog approved by Parliament in 2013.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2017 10:14 IST
HT Correspondent
Lokpal

New Delhi, India – July 18, 2013 – Supreme court in New Delhi on Thursday, 18 July 2013. Photo by Mohd Zakir / Hindustan Times

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on a bunch of petitions seeking appointment of a Lokpal, the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog approved by Parliament in 2013.

The government had told the top court last month it was not possible to appoint a lokpal as there was no leader of the opposition.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the amendments to the definition of the leader of opposition in the Lokpal Act were pending with Parliament.

Parliament approved a law to create an independent anti-corruption agency after a delay of almost 50 years but the hiring of a lokpal to run it has been stuck on the question of who should be on the appointment panel.

The Lokpal Act says the prime minister-led selection panel will include the leader of the opposition, the Lok Sabha speaker, the chief justice of India and an eminent jurist.

As the present Lok Sabha does not have a leader of the opposition, the government moved an amendment allowing the leader of the largest opposition party to be part of the panel.

But, the opposition called for closer scrutiny of other changes and the bill was sent to a parliamentary committee that gave some suggestions last year. The government is yet to take a call on them.

The Congress, the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, didn’t have enough members for one of its MPs to be named the leader of the opposition. The Congress has 45 MPs, while the requirement is 55.