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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Jul 2014

Transparency in appointment of Lokpal mandatory: SC tells govt

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 06, 2014
First Published: 00:14 IST(6/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:19 IST(6/5/2014)

The Supreme Court on Monday said appointments to Lokpal — India’s first anti-corruption ombudsman — have to be transparent as that was the mandate of the law under which it would be constituted.

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“What law requires is a procedure that should be transparent. But how to achieve that should be your objective,” a bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha told the Centre’s counsel solicitor general Mohan Parasaran.

SC expressed its view after Parasaran disclosed the Centre had agreed to re-examine the contentious issue on the selection of Lokpal including amending the rules that makes it mandatory for a sitting SC judge to apply.

Initially the court was keen to dispose Common Cause’s PIL challenging the rules. But Parasaran’s failure to explain how the government would ensure transparency prompted the court to fix the matter for further hearing on July 4.

SC agreed with petitioner’s counsel Prashant Bhushan’s contention that the existing rules were silent on the transparency issue.

Centre has already informed SC that it won’t take any immediate decision on appointment of chairperson and members of Lokpal, indicating that the decision might be left to the new government.


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