October 21, 2015 1:20:05 am
Former Delhi High Court judge, Justice Reva Khetrapal will be the capital’s new Lokayukta. The post of the anti-corruption ombudsman has remained vacant since November 2013, when retired Justice Manmohan Sarin relinquished office. The opposition BJP and the Congress have often attacked the ruling AAP government over the delay in the Lokayukta’s appointment.
The decision to recommend Justice Khetrapal — who will become the fourth Lokayukta — to the post was declared following a meeting of the four-member panel comprising Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini and Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta.
Jung will recommend her name to President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday for the formal appointment.
Justice Khetrapal has given judgments in a number of high-profile cases, including the December 16 gangrape case, where she upheld the death penalty of the convicts.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Justice Khetrapal said as Delhi’s Lokayukta, she will focus on being “just and fair”. “If I can be just and fair, I would have served my purpose,” she said.
The name of the 63-year-old judge was recommended to the Chief Justice of Delhi HC by the AAP government along with that of two others — retired Chief Justice of Orissa HC Bilal Nazki and retired Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana HC Jasbir Singh.
In August, former Law Commission chairman and former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah had turned down the Kejriwal government’s offer to take up the post.
“Justice Reva Khetrapal’s name was unanimously agreed upon for the post. With this, a long pending issue has come to a logical conclusion. The institution of Lokayukta is crucial to ensure corruption-free governance and to maintain a high level of probity in the public domain,” said Vijender Gupta.
Born in Shimla, Justice Khetrapal studied at Miranda House College and the Law Faculty of the Delhi University. She practiced in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court from 1975 to 1991. She was appointed additional district and sessions judge in 1991, later posted as special judge (narcotics) in 1994 and was appointed secretary, Press Council of India in 1999. She was elevated to the HC in 2006 and she retired in September 2014.
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