All eight newly appointed members of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal will take oath of office on Wednesday, officials said Tuesday. President Ram Nath Kovind had on Saturday administered the oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the country’s first Lokpal.
Former Chief Justices of different high courts — Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari — besides sitting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi were appointed as judicial members in the Lokpal.
Former first woman chief of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, former IRS officer Mahender Singh and Gujarat cadre ex-IAS officer Indrajeet Prasad Gautam are the Lokpal’s non-judicial members.
All these eight members will be administered the oath of office on Wednesday, the officials said.
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According to the rules, there is provision for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal panel. Of these, four need to be judicial members.
A high-level selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recommended the appointments for chairperson and members of the Lokpal. Following which, President Ram Nath Kovind had approved the appointments.
Justice Ghose, 66, retired as Supreme Court judge in May 2017. He last served as member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The Lokpal Act, which envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed on 2013.
A person who is or has been the Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge is eligible for appointment as Lokpal.
According to rules, there is provision for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal panel.
Not less than 50 per cent of the members of the Lokpal panel shall be from amongst the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women, the rules say.
Upon selection, the chairperson and members shall hold office for a term of five years or till they attain 70 years of age.
The salary and allowances of the chairman will be same as that of the Chief Justice of India.
The members will be paid salary and allowances same as that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
The Lokpal selection committee is headed by the prime minister and has as its members — the Lok Sabha Speaker, leader of the opposition in the lower house, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the President or any other member.
President Kovind had nominated former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi as “eminent jurist” as the member of the panel against the vacancy arising following the death of senior advocate P P Rao.