The central government has constituted an eight-member search committee to recommend the chairperson and members of the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal. The search committee will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.
The committee has former chief of State Bank of India (SBI) Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) head A S Kiran Kumar as members.
Besides them, Justice Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, former judge of Allahabad High Court; Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala, former Gujarat Police head; Lalit K Panwar, retired IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre; and former Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar are the other members of the panel, according to an official order issued by the Personnel Ministry.
The move assumes significance as the government decided to go ahead with the formation of the search committee despite Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, boycotting meetings of the Lokpal selection panel, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The search committee is a major step towards setting up of the Lokpal. The committee will start its functioning soon. The decision to constitute the search committee comes four years after the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, which envisages establishment of anti-graft body Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed in 2013.
Kharge had been boycotting the selection committee meeting on the pretext that he is not made a full-fledged member in the panel.