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LOKPAL SELECTION PANEL MEET Lokpal Act Doesn’t have Provision for a Special Invitee: Kharge to PM

March 16, 2019 06:32 AM

COURTESY ET MARCH 16

LOKPAL SELECTION PANEL MEET
Lokpal Act Doesn’t have Provision for a Special Invitee: Kharge to PM
Declines invite to attend meeting to select Lokpal
Our Political Bureau

New Delhi:

The Congress party’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has again declined the PM’s invitation to attend a meeting to name the Lokpal, even as the deadline set by the SC to appoint the anti-corruption watchdog is nearing. This is the seventh time that Kharge is declining the invite, protesting the government’s refusal to formally designate him as the Leader of the Opposition. The latest invite to Kharge comes amid a buzz that a recently retired SC judge could be named the Lokpal.


Kharge, in a letter to the PM, pointed out that the selection committee, in his absence, had constituted a search panel to select the Lokpal, thereby making it clear that the government had made up its mind on the appointment. The process has been “vitiated” due to the exclusion of the opposition from it, Kharge said, adding that “anyone selected through this one-sided process may decline to accept the position.”

The government has designated Kharge only as a “special invitee” on the selection panel that comprises the PM and the CJI. Kharge wrote: “A special invitee would not have any rights of participation in the process of the election of the Lokpal and I can’t accept the opposition being made voiceless in the process.” The Lokpal Act does not have any provision for a “special invitee” to be on the selection panel, he said.

 
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