Common Cause and Lokniti Programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), launched India’s first Status of Policing in India Report (SPIR 2018) at the India Habitat Centre on May 9.Read More+
Cont.Pet.(C) No. 714 / 2018
Contempt Petition against the government failure to appoint Lokpal
The petition filed by Common Cause for appointment of Lokpal was disposed by the Supreme Court on April 27, 2017 holding that the Lokpal and Lokayutas Act, 2013 as it stands today was a perfectly workable legislation and there was no justification on the part of the Government to keep the enforcement of the said Act under suspension till the amendments, as proposed, were carried out.
Nine months since the judgment, the government had failed to appoint the Lokpal, hence a contempt application seeking the initiation of contempt proceedings against the executive for wilful and deliberate failure to fully comply with the aforementioned judgment of the Apex Court was filed by Common Cause.
This matter was taken up on February 23, 2018, when the AG informed the Court that steps under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 was under way and a meeting had been scheduled for March 1, 2018.
The SC directed that on March 5, 2018, an affidavit be filed by the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Personnel & Training indicating the steps taken and proposed and listed the matter for March 6, 2018. During the hearing on March 6, 2018, the SC was informed by the AG that the selection committee for appointment of the Lokpal met on March 1, 2018 and decided to fill up the vacancy of an eminent jurist in the panel, which had fallen vacant after the demise of senior advocate P.P. Rao who was appointed as an eminent jurist in the panel.
On April 17, 2018, the Court asked the Center to make the appointment of the Lokpal at the earliest and to expedite the process.
On May 15, 2018, the Centre informed the Bench that it had appointed senoir advodate Mukal Rohtagi as an eminent jurist in the selection committee for appointment of Lokpal.
In the hearing on July 2, 2018, the Court asked the Centre to file an affidavit indicating a time-frame for the appointment of a Lokpal. The bench also ordered the Centre to mention in its status report the details of steps it will take to appoint the Lokpal. The Centre has 10 days to file its affidavit.
In the hearing on 17 July 2018 the Court was informed by the respondent that a meeting of the Selection Committee was convened on 19 July 2018 for the purpose of constituting a Search Committee. The respondents were directed to submit a report on the outcome of the meeting to the Court on or before 23 July 2018.
After the affidavit was submitted in the court by the government, the Court in an order dated 24 July 2018 held that the affidavit filed was wholly unsatisfactory and directed the government to file a fresh affidavit giving full particulars within four weeks. The matter is listed for hearing on 24 August 2018.