New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to state on affidavit the steps taken to date in pursuance to the long-awaited appointment of the Lokpal.
The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to ensure that the steps taken to date are brought on record through an affidavit to be filed within two weeks.
“Much time has lapsed, something needs to be done”, the bench observed.
Directing that all details be put on record, the court fixed January 17 for considering the matter again.
“No, no note. File an affidavit,” Chief Justice Gogoi told Attorney General who sought to pass on a note to the bench carrying the details of the steps taken by the government in the process of appointing Lokpal.
In the last hearing on July 24, the court had declined to accept the affidavit filed by the Secretary (Personnel), DoPT describing it “wholly unsatisfactory” and had directed the filing of a “better affidavit giving full particulars” of the steps being taken for setting up a search committee for suggesting probable names for Lokpal.
The court order today came in the course of a hearing of a contempt petition by NGO Common Cause over failure of the government to act on the April 27, 2017 judgement holding that the “Act, as it stands today, is an eminently workable piece of legislation and there is no justification to keep the enforcement of the Act under suspension till the amendments, as proposed, are carried out.”
Commenting on the order passed today, activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in a tweet said, “Once bitten by Govt’s unsigned note in Rafale which were found to contain false statements, the SC is twice shy in accepting such ‘notes’ across the table in the Lokpal matter. 5 years on, no Lokpal in sight. Modi never intended to appoint Lokpal. Lokpal may investigate Rafale!”