Accusing the government of "usurping" powers of the Selection Committee for appointment of Lokpal and its members, BJP has demanded withdrawal of the advertisement issued in this regard and termed it "illegal".
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that since the advertisement is contrary to the provisions of The Lokpal and the Lokayukta Act, he will write to the Prime Minister, the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha about their function being "usurped" by the Department of Personnel and Training.
He also said that though the power to invite applications for the Lokpal and its members rests with the Selection Committee, of which the above four are members and another will be appointed with their consent, a job seeking judge may not be the best person to be appointed as a member of the Lokpal.
"The executive government has no role to perform in this. Notwithstanding this position, the Department of Personnel and Training has usurped the power of the Selection Committee which is still to be fully constituted...
"In any case, whether applications are to be invited or not has to be decided by the Selection Committee. The Union Government is wholly alien to this power. The advertisement issued in this regard is contrary to the provisions of the Act. The advertisement which is illegal requires to be withdrawn," he said.
Jaitley said the four members of the Selection Committee have to first meet and appoint another member and after the full Selection Committee is formed, they will appoint a Search Committee comprising at least seven members, which will carry out the search procedure.
He said the very idea of sitting or retired judges of the highest court having to move applications for a post- retirement assignment is repugnant to the dignity of the office that they have held.
Noting that retired judges who lobby with the establishment with their CVs compromise their self-respect and dignity. "A job seeking Judge may not be the best person to be appointed as a member of the Lokpal," he said.