New Delhi: Head of the Lokpal Committee Search Panel Justice KT Thomas has now pulled out from the panel. He has written to the Prime Minister's Office expressing inability to be part of the panel.
"I have decided to withdraw from the search committee after I studied the rules. The selection committee itself can find out the persons from the list of central government, what the search committee is expected to do and forward the list to the government," he said in his letter to PMO.
"Also it's not necessary that the names forwarded by the committee will be finalised by the government. I felt that why should there be such a strain of travelling from the southern part of the country to Delhi. I expressed my difficulty and withdrew from the selection panel," he added.
Earlier Senior Supreme Court advocate Fali Nariman had also refused to join the committee. In a letter to the Centre, Nariman had called the Lokpal selection process ludicrous and farcical.
The search panel is to comprise of eight members.
Earlier, the BJP had objected to one of the Prime Ministers's nominees for the panel - PP Rao - accusing him of being pro-UPA 2.
Of the advertised posts for members in the Lokpal, four are for judicial and the remaining for non-judicial. The PM-led selection committee has as members Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him and an eminent jurist, who could be nominated by the President or any of the members.
The chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendations of the selection committee.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, provides for the establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries.