This refers to the article “K.T Thomas refuses to head Lokpal search committee” (March 4). Justice (retd.) Thomas and Mr. Fali Nariman have exposed the diabolic plot of the government in trying to project an impression of a “Lokpal search panel” being studded with eminent persons, but really giving it the responsibility for no more than shortlisting the names of some pliable persons already selected by it. In their politeness they have refrained from pointing out that it is an insult to them to be asked to accept such a dishonourable job and end up conniving with the government’s obviously mala fide designs to make the Lokpal ab initio a puppet, if not worse.
If those who are associated with the Lokpal scheme are so deeply rooted in the bureaucracy, how can it aim to fight corruption? What is the point of a selection committee selecting people who will eventually lead to the Lokpal’s downfall? Perhaps, citizens should select members of the search committee.
I am proud of Justice Thomas for his considered decision. In doing so he has answered to his conscience and respected it. He taught us criminal law and procedure while presiding over Court No.5 of the Supreme Court and encouraged young lawyers to argue cases and appreciated their small efforts. Today, he has given us all one more lesson in life — to listen to one’s heart and conscience and never succumb to transient temptations.
The refusal of Justice Thomas and Mr. Fali Nariman to be a part of the search committee is an unfortunate development. They do not apparently want their task to be restricted to just picking from the names forwarded by the Lokpal Selection Committee, which is not strictly a government body as it includes the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Is it fair to prejudge that the selection committee’s list will not have anybody who is “the most competent, the most independent and the most courageous?” If the search committee finds nobody in the list worthy of being appointed as Lokpal, it has the right to say so. The members of the Search Committee would have made their point even if the Selection Committee happened to reject their advice.