Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Lokpal Search Committee

The standing committee on Lokpal bill has recommended that the search committee for Lokpal shall comprise at least seven members and shall ensure 50% representation to SCs and/or STs and/or OBCs and/or minorities and/or women. Parliament should not accept this recommendation.

In India any person can reach any position. Dalits have held positions of President and Vice President of India, CJI and Speaker of Lok Sabha. If a Dalit woman can become chief minister of Uttar Pradesh any Dalit can reach any position. Historical marginalization is not a reason for reservations.

There are various groups within communities. Among Dalits some claim to be Mahadalits and demand reservations within reservations. Many communities who are not OBCs want to be OBCs. Uttar Pradesh elections are coming near and there is talk of giving reservation for Muslims in OBC category.

There are many religious communities that come under minorities. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Bahais can demand representation for their respective communities. Within women there can be demand for quotas for SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities.

If demand for reservation in search committee is granted there will be demand of reservation in selection committee and in Lokpal which is expected to be a nine member body. Supreme Court began with eight judges and over the years the number increased to 26. That should not happen to Lokpal.

For selection of Lokpal members there should be advertisements on government web sites, All India Radio and Doordarshan. There should be no advertisements in newspapers and magazines. That will save money. Only those who apply should be called for interview. Among other things Lokpal members shall be less than 60 years of age when they apply and retirement age should be 65. It is not necessary that they should have been judges or lawyers. Criminologists may be preferred. Lokpal should formulate its procedure. There need not be prosecution and defence lawyers. Lokpal can question the accused and deliver judgment. There should be no appeal on Lokpal judgment.

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