Justice Sekhon should have declined Lokpal post, says Jakhar

Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sunil Jakhar on Monday said that for the sake of moral and judicial propriety Justice J S Sekhon should have declined to be the Punjab Lokpal as his brother Janmeja Singh Sekhon is a minister in the state government. Besides, Jakhar added, the judge is related to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The Congress leader further said that Justice Sekhon's appointment "out of the blue" has raised doubts about the real intentions of the government on the issue. Jakhar wondered if the new Lokpal will be able to decide any case, against his own brother Janmeja Sekhon, in an impartial manner.

In a statement issued here, the leader of opposition maintained that the person appointed to head a constitutional body should not only be above board, but should also seem to be above board. He added that Justice Sekhon's appointment clearly smelt of partisan politics.

Questioning the timing of the appointment, Jakhar observed that the Punjab government in an apparent bid to circumvent the central law which is likely going to come into force soon, took recourse to the Punjab Lokpal Act which does not mandate taking the Leader of the Opposition into confidence.

"The new central law is likely to come into force anytime now since it is on the top priority of the government and is likely to be taken up in the next session of the Parliament that begins from November 22. It clearly mandates that the Leader of the Opposition has to be taken into confidence before appointing the Lokpal," Jakhar said before pointing out that the act has already been passed by the Lok Sabha and remains to be passed by the Rajya Sabha only.

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