Sr lawyer Mukul Rohatgi appointed to Lokpal panel: Centre

Mukul Rohatgi

The Central Government informed the Supreme Court today that former Attorney General of India, Mukul Rohatgi has been appointed as the eminent jurist on the Selection Committee tasked with appointing the Lopkpal.

The decision of the appointment was taken on May 11, Attorney General told the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Venugopal told the bench that the selection committee would now constitute a search committee that "would recommend persons for appointment of chairperson and members of the Lokpal, which again will be considered by the selection committee".

Rohatgi was appointed the attorney general of India when the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government took over at the Centre in May 2014.

Senior Advocate PP Rao had initially been appointed as the eminent jurist in the Committee. However, it stopped short of passing any directions for completing the process.

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The bench, on hearing the submissions, posted the matter for further hearing on July 2.

The Supreme Court was hearing a 2014 contempt petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan-led Common Cause, which challenged the constitutionality of the search committee rules for the appointment of the Lokpal. He had represented Anil Ambani in the top court in the gas dispute case between the Ambani brothers.

But following prodding from the apex court, the Centre had agreed to appoint the Lokpal soon.

On April 17, the court had hoped that the appointment of the Lokpal "will be made at the earliest possible". Before the Supreme Court passed its judgment in 2016, the Central government had maintained throughout that the Lokpal Act can not be enforced without a Leader of Opposition.

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