What is the Relevance of this issue with UPSC Mains exam?

  • (GS2): Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • (GS2): transparency and accountability
  • (GS4): challenges of corruption

Timeline / Sequence of events

December 2013: Lokpal and Lokayukta act passed. Lokpal will consist of

  • one chairman
  • Four judicial members
  • Four non-judicial members

2014, January 1: President gave assent to this bill.
2014, May week1: NGO-petition against Lokpal selection rules (Rule 10) in SC.

Problem with Existing Provisions (Rule 10)

Lokpal selection rule

Lokpal “recruitment” involves two Committees
Search Committee selection Committee
They’ll shortlist the eligible candidates for selection as Lokpal chairman and members. Will decide the final names.
Search Committee will have 1 chairman + 7 members from following professional categories (total 8 people) total five people
  1. administrators
  2. representatives of the law enforcement agencies
  3. bankers
  4. judicial officers
  5. legal professionals
  6. eminent persons in public life
  1. Prime minister
  2. Speaker, Lok Sabha
  3. Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
  4. Chief Justice of India CJI OR a judge nominated by him
  5. One Eminent Jurist.
at least 50% members of search Committee will be SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women. no such reservation
  • As per the rules, search Committee can to shortlist candidates only from the list given by Central government!
  • so there is no freedom in searching!
  • only those who’re in the ‘good books’ of ruling party, they’ll get shortlisted.
  • When Lokpal is selected among such candidates, he is less likely to be impartial and strict while dealing against political corruption.
  • Thus, entire process is illegal, arbitrary and against Article 14 of the constitution
Selection Committee has two options

  1. We can Select toppers(!) among the shortlisted candidates by search Committee.
  2. we can even select people not shortlisted by the search Committee.
  • Justice KT Thomas: quits the Search Committee post because selection Committee can pick even outsiders also. then what’s the point of shortlisting?
  • Legal expert Fali Nariman: declined to join as member of search Committee for all these stupid rules
  • Govt. chose a practicing lawyer (PP Rao) as an eminent jurist.
  • Now, four sitting judges of supreme court are in race for to be chosen as Lokpal.
  • So, there would be conflict of interest when a practicing lawyer has to select a sitting judge of Supreme Court.
  • No transparency. At least names of eligible candidates should be put on website one week before final selection.
  • Government even reduced “Work-experience” criteria for shortlisting candidates.


Outcome of NGO petition?
Supreme court observed (UPA) government replied
Selection process is made in such way that it’ll undermine the independence and autonomy of the Lokpal.
  • we’ll re-examine the section rules
  • in the meantime, We’ll not appoint any lokpal chairman or member (this will be done after new government is elected i.e. Modi).

June 15, 2014: Modi government began reforming search/selection rules of UPA government. Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) working on this.

Mock Question

Q3. Correct statements about Lokpal

  1. It’s 9 person’s body. Four of which, have to be judicial members and among them one must be an eminent jurist.
  2. Eminent jurist in the Lokpal selection panel is nominated by CJI.
  3. Law Secretary acts as the convenor cum member Secretary of the Lokpal search Committee.

Answer choices

  1. only 1 and 2
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. none of them

Interview Question: What is the present mechanism for selection of Lokpal? Why did Supreme Court find deficiencies in it?