Former Attorney General of India and Senior Counsel Mr. Mukul Rohatgi has been appointed as the "eminent jurist" in the Lokpal selection committee, the Centre informed the Supreme Court today.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal informed a Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the decision was taken on 11 May, making Mr. Rohatgi a part of the selection committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister. The post of eminent jurist in the committee has been lying vacant since Senior Advocate P.P. Rao passed away in September last year.
The submission was made during the hearing of a contempt petition filed by the NGO Common Cause, which had raised the issue of non-appointment of the anti-graft ombudsman despite the apex court’s verdict of April 27 last year, when the Court had made it clear that the existing Lokpal Act is a workable piece of legislation and there was no justification to keep its operation pending.
The Centre had, on 23 February, informed the Court that steps were being taken for appointment of Lokpal, a process which has been on a standstill since 2014 when the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act was notified.
The Apex Court had then last month directed the Centre to expedite the process for the appointment, after being informed by Attorney General KK Venugopal that a meeting had already been held on 10 April for discussing the appointment.