Justice KT Thomas quits as Lokpal Search Committee head

New Delhi, March 3: Following the footsteps of eminent jurist Fali Nariman, former Supreme Court judge Justice K.T. Thomas on Monday quit as the head of the Lokpal Search Committee panel.

In a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Thomas stated: “I write this letter to inform you that I withdraw my willingness to accept the office of the Chairperson of the Search Committee. I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.”

“When I went through the Rules I have come to realise that the work of the Search Committee is to pick out names of persons from the list provided by the Central Government (Department of Personnel and Training) The Search Committee cannot make any independent search to find out the most deserving persons to be included in the panel. Once the Search Committee gives the panel it is for the Selection Committee to select the persons for appointment as members of the Lokpal. In doing so the Selection Committee is not bound to take any one from the panel prepared by the Search Committee as could be discerned from the second proviso to Section 4(3) of the Act,” he added.

“I wonder why there should be a Search Committee at all, much less, the arduous work to be undertaken by the members of such a Committee when the Selection Committee itself can decide on who should be the members of Lokpal,” he was stated.

“That apart, the requirement of seeking applications from persons to be considered as members of Lokpal has already been widely criticized. No doubt, it would deter many deserving persons being brought within the ambit of consideration,” he added.

On February 27, Nariman in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had refused to join the Lokpal Search Committee panel.

“I decline the honour. In my humble view this is no way in which an institution as vital and as important as the Lokpal should be constituted,” he wrote in his letter. (ANI)