President Ram Nath Kovind appointed former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose as India’s first Lokpal on Tuesday.
The judicial members of Lokpal are Justices Dilip B Bhosale, PK Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and AK Tripathi and the non-judicial members are former Maharashtra Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, former SSB chief Archana Ramasundaram, Mahender Singh, and Dr IP Gautam.
Ghose will now lead the anti-corruption ombudsman after retiring as a SC judge in May 2017. He is also the most senior member of the National Human Rights Commission, having been a part of it since June 2017.
Earlier this month, the apex court had asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to inform within 10 days a possible date when the selection committee would meet to appoint the Lokpal and its members. He had told the bench, comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, that he will ask Department of Personnel and Training to ensure that the meeting of the selection committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is convened as early as possible.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had boycotted the selection committee’s meeting held on 15 March and refused to attend it. The Opposition parties had also alleged that the government was delaying the Lokpal’s appointment. In a recent letter to Modi, he alleged that the government has not made any attempt to amend the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act to include the leader of the single largest party in the opposition as a member of the selection committee.
The law mandating the appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states was passed in 2013 and empowers these bodies to look into cases of corruption. The Lokpal and members shall hold office for five years or till they attain the age of 70 years.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Mar 19, 2019 21:31:54 IST