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Lokpal panel to conduct its first meeting on appointments today

The panel set up to recommend names for appointments to anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, according to two people aware of the development.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2019 22:58 IST
Amandeep Shukla
Amandeep Shukla
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lokpal,corruption,Supreme Court
The Supreme Court had last week asked the Lokpal committee to recommend the names by February end. It had questioned the delay in this regard and directed the Centre to do whatever required for enabling the committee to complete its work.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT Photo)

The panel set up to recommend names for appointments to anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, according to two people aware of the development.

The Supreme Court had last week asked the Lokpal committee to recommend the names by February end. It had questioned the delay in this regard and directed the Centre to do whatever required for enabling the committee to complete its work. The apex court will hear the matter again on March 7.

“The panel will be meeting for the first time in the national capital [New Delhi] on Tuesday,” a government official said. A member of the panel, too, confirmed the first meeting will be held on Tuesday.

The government had in September constituted the eight-member panel to recommend names for the top anti-corruption ombudsman. Former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai is heading the panel.

According to a personnel ministry order, the committee also includes retired bureaucrat Lalit K Panwar, former Allahabad high court judge Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, ex-State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash, Indian Space Research Organisation head A S Kiran Kumar, former Gujarat police chief S S Khandwawala and ex-solicitor general Ranjit Kumar. As per the guidelines, the search committee would recommend the names for selection to a Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel.

According to the Lokpal Act, the Prime Minister’s panel has the Lok Sabha speaker, leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, chief justice of India or an apex court judge he nominates as its members.

The Lokpal will have a chairman and eight members. It can inquire into offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act including against the Prime Minister with specified safeguards. Sitting and former Union ministers as well as current and former Parliament members also come under its purview.

The Lokpal can look into allegations of corruption against government employees and those of companies, societies or trusts set up by acts of Parliament or financed or controlled by the central government. Employees of associations of people receiving funding from the government or having received public donation or foreign funding up to Rs 10 lakh annually, too, come under the Lokpal’s purview.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 22:58 IST

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