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National
SC questions Centre over status of Leader of Opposition, terms it a significant position
23-08-2014

NEW DELHI: The Central government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was reviewing the entire Lokpal Act even as the court questioned it over rendering the law ineffective due to the delay.

A bench led by Chief Justice RM Lodha also said that the court will interpret the term “Leader of Opposition” on next date of hearing since the Lokpal selection panel envisages LoP as one of the five members.

“We are not waiting for any amendment or any session of the parliament. We will interpret it if the government does not do it by the next date of hearing,” said the bench.

“The Act cannot be kept in cold storage if problems have emerged. LoP is a significant position in house of people. LoP is a voice representing views contrary to govt. The Parliament may not have envisaged such a situation but it now needs to be interpreted so that the process is fast-tracked,” observed the bench.

When asked as to how the government plans to go about designating a LoP, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that deliberations were underway on the issue. At this, the court said that efforts should be made to expedite selection of Lokpal.

The court is hearing a PIL that has challenged the Lokpal appointment rules and seeks more transparency in the selection process.