Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected BJP leader Arun Jaitley's contention that the government had flouted rules by issuing an advertisement inviting applications for posts of Lokpal chairman and members were illegal.
Replying to a letter written by Jaitley, the Prime Minister said the advertisement issued recently was within the prescribed rules notified recently.
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha had alleged that the advertisements issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) were "illegal" and against rules.
"May I, at the outset, assure you that the advertisement issued in this regard is strictly in terms of the provisions of the (Lokpal) Act and the rules framed thereunder," Singh said in his letter.
Singh quoted Rule 10 of the Lokpal Rules, 2014 notified recently to buttress his point.
The rule states that the Search Committee shall prepare a panel of persons to be considered by the Selection Committee for appointment as the Chairperson and members of the Lokpal, from among the list provided by the central government in the DoPT.
Explaining the position, Singh said under this rule, the role of the DoPT is limited to preparing a list of persons for consideration of the Search Committee.
"It is not correct to say that the decision regarding selection by inviting applications or otherwise can only be taken by the Selection Committee.
While the Selection Committee shall be free to consider the names other than those recommended by the Search Committee, it does not necessarily follow that the Search Committee would be guided by the Selection Committee in the manner of selection of panel of names as Act clearly provides for rules to be framed in this regard," he wrote.
He also said it was felt that the advertisements would save time and ensure that the Lokpal could be constituted at the earliest.