Rejecting advocate Prashant Bhushan's plea to make suggested names for Lokpal appointment public, the Supreme Court today, gave the centre 10 days time to inform the court about the selection committee's meeting dates on Lokpal appointment.
The centre informed the Supreme Court that the search panel has already sent its recommendations. Attorney-General KK Venugopal said that three panels consisting of names of candidates of three members each, was sent to the government on February 28, as per the top court's orders.
Petitioner, Prashant Bhushan wanted the names made public but the top court objected and a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said,"You have done good work but there has to be a limit somewhere. You have to stop. We don't think the names are required to be put in public domain."
Chief Justice Gogoi asked Mr Venugopal about who would be the leader of opposition in the selection panel as there is no one designated. The Attorney-General told the court that leader of the single largest party will attend the meeting as is the protocol in the case of selection of the CBI Director.
The Chief Justice pointed out that "for selecting CBI Director there is an amendment to include the leader of largest opposition party but for Lokpal there is none and he (Mallikarjun Kharge) has been called as a special invitee... That's his grievance."
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in September had refused to attend a meeting of the Lokpal selection panel, saying that "invitation as special invitee without the right of participation, recording of opinion and voting was an eyewash."
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by Common Cause, a non-profit group, seeking the initiation of contempt proceedings against the government for delaying the appointment of the Lokpal.
The court in the last hearing requested the Lokpal search committee to suggest names for the appointment of the country's first anti-corruption ombudsman. The top court had also directed the government to provide all facilities required by the panel to complete its job.