Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose likely to be appointed India's first Lokpal, official announcement expected tomorrow

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, is likely to be appointed India's first Lokpal. The government is expected to make an official announcement on his appointment on Monday, reports said.

Ghose was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2013. He retired in 2017.

On 7 March, the Supreme Court had asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to inform it within 10 days about a possible date for when the selection committee would meet to appoint the Lokpal and its members. Venugopal informed the bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, that the search committee chaired by former top court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai had recommended three panels of names to the selection committee for posts of chairperson, judicial and non-judicial members.

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose likely to be appointed Indias first Lokpal, official announcement expected tomorrow

File photo of Justice PC Ghose. NHRC website

The attorney general told the bench — also comprising justices SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna— that he will ask the Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training to ensure that the meeting of the prime minister-headed selection committee is convened as early as possible.

The top court had refused to pass directions ordering the disclosure of the names in the three panels.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered the Lokpal search committee to recommend by February end a panel of names to appoint the country's first anti-corruption ombudsman.

The top court had asked the Centre to make available requisite infrastructure, manpower, secretarial assistance and other necessitites to enable the committee, headed by Desai, to commence its work immediately and conclude the search within the timeframe.

Who is Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose?

Ghose retired from the Supreme Court 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. He is a former judge of the Calcutta High Court and former chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

According to reports, his name was finalised at a meeting of the Lokpal selection committee, which comprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, on Friday evening.

"Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, a special invitee to the selection committee meeting, had refused to attend the meeting, saying a special invitee would not have any rights of participation in the process of selection and he could not accept the "Opposition being made voiceless in a critical matter", The Print reported.

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Updated Date: Mar 17, 2019 14:34:17 IST

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