The government has decided to call for applications from eligible candidates for the post of chairman and members of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal, officials said Wednesday.
A process in this regard has been initiated and an advertisement calling the applications from the eligible candidates is likely to be issued soon, they said.
The matter related to the appointment of Lokpal was discussed during a meeting of eight-member search committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, on Tuesday.
"The (search) Committee decided to call for applications/nominations from eligible persons to be considered for position of chairperson and members of Lokpal through an advertisement at the earliest," a statement issued Wednesday by the Personnel Ministry said.
The committee will meet again within a fortnight to carry on further deliberations, it said.
Tuesday's meeting was held days after the Supreme Court had set a February-end deadline for the search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as chairman and members of Lokpal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.
The top court had on January 17 asked the search committee to complete its deliberations and recommend a panel of names of candidates, who could be considered for the chief and members of the Lokpal, by the end of February.
The Lokpal Act, which envisages establishment of the anti-graft body Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed in 2013.
The search committee, formed in September last year despite concerns raised by the Congress, has former chief of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) head A S Kiran Kumar as members.
Besides them, former Allahabad High Court judge Sakha Ram Singh Yadav; former Gujarat Police chief Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala; retired IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre Lalit K Panwar; and Ranjit Kumar are the other members of the panel.
The Lokpal selection committee headed by the prime minister has as its members the Lok Sabha speaker, leader of the opposition in the lower house, the chief justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the President or any other member.
Upon the recommendations of the selection committee, President Ram Nath Kovind had nominated Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India as ''eminent jurist'' member of the panel against the vacancy arising following the death of senior advocate.