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Modi to revamp process of selecting members of Lokpal

India TV News Desk 07 Aug 2014, 11:31:52 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Prime Minster Modi now wants to get rid of the old system and revamp the process of selecting members of the Lokpal. This is one of the most crucial agencies to combat corruption in the country and is relatively new to India.

Modi government is keen to establish a process in which it will not have to participate directly, a move that is contrary to former UPA government's philosophy.

Dr Manmohan Singh led UPA which was decimated in 2014 general elections, had decided that the nine members of the anti-graft agency Lokpal, would be appointed from a panel shortlisted and submitted to a selection committee headed by the Prime Minister.

Critics and eminent jurists had opposed this, saying it severely restricted the committee's ability to find the best candidates, forcing it instead to choose from a pool selected by the government which was unlikely to be impartial.

According to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Modi government is in favour of a search committee of seven members which will include former judges. This committee will recommend candidates for selection as members of Lokpal. These will further be studied by a panel that is to be headed by the Prime Minister.

Mukul Rohtagi added that the new government should over-ride its predecessor's decision to advertise the openings for the Lokpal and invite responses from present and ex judges.

The PM has asked Mukul Rohtagi to draft guidelines by July.

The Law that created Lokpal or National Ombudsman was passed by the parliament in December 2013.

The need for an ombudsman empowered to investigate corrupt government officials was championed by activist Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in 2012 in a high-profile movement.