Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on Tuesday appointed the country’s first Lokpal — the national anti-corruption ombudsman. This comes five years after the Lokpal Act received the President’s nod on January 1, 2014.
Former Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) chief Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam have been appointed as non-judicial members of Lokpal, reports PTI.
Explained: How Lokpal will form, function
Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and Ajay Kumar Tripathi have been appointed as judicial members in the anti-corruption ombudsman.
These appointments were recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee and approved by President Ram Nath Kovind. Opposition parties have been accusing the Modi government of delaying the appointment of Lokpal.
A high-level selection committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, the panel’s “eminent jurist member”, cleared Justice Ghose’ name at its meeting Friday, official sources said Monday.
Justice Ghose was appointed judge of the Supreme Court in March 2013 and retired in May 2017. Before being appointed as Lokpal, he was a member of the National Human Rights Commission.
In February 2017, Former SC judge Justice P C Ghose all set to head India’s first Lokpal he was part of a bench along with Justice Amitava Roy that upheld the conviction and sentencing of V K Sasikala — the associate of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa — in a disproportionate assets case.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, which envisaged the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas for the states, to enquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries was enacted in 2013 and received Presidential assent on January 1, 2014.
But the appointment was delayed due to various reasons. Subsequently, the matter came before the Supreme Court, which in April 2017 termed the 2013 Act an “eminently workable” piece of legislation.
-With ENS & PTI inputs