The central government told the Supreme Court on Thursday that much progress had been made in the process of appointing of a Lokpal and urged the court to dismiss a PIL demanding court intervention to ensure that the anti-corruption ombudsman be appointed. AG KK Venugopal said the lists of candidates to be considered for appointment as chairperson of Lokpal and for appointment of other judicial and non-judicial members were ready. These will now be considered by a high-power panel.He urged the bench, led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, to throw out the petition seeking court intervention to hasten the Lokpal appointment.
The CJI, however, did not agree, but asked the central government to come back to it with information within 10 days on when the high-powered committee would meet to clear the names. Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of NGO Common Cause which had moved the court to ensure that the ombudsman was appointed, urged the court to direct that the lists of names be made public so that the public could send in their objections. The CJI did not agree to this, insisting that the parameters of transparency could also be met if the names are made public after they are shortlisted.