New Delhi : The Centre is likely to go ahead with the appointment of the chairperson and members of Lokpal without Leader of Opposition as member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.

 The rules for Lokpal search committee are being modified and a meeting of selection committee will be held soon to finalise its composition, official sources said.

 Once the search panel is formed and its recommendations are received by the selection committee, it will proceed with the appointment of chairperson and members of Lokpal, the sources said.

 According to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, “No appointment of a chairperson or a member shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the selection committee.”  The selection committee, led by Modi, has as its members the Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of Opposition in the Lower House, the 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 other member.

 The process of appointment of search committee members is underway, the sources said.  Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is yet to take a decision on the issue of Leader of Opposition in the lower house.  Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP’s 282 but fell short by 11 to stake claim for Leader of Opposition (LoP) for which it requires a strength of 55. Simultaneously, the government is likely to proceed with the appointment of next Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner in Central Vigilance Commission without the LoP, the sources said.

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