Former Supreme Court Judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose Likely To Be India's First Lokpal

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| March 17 , 2019 , 16:03 IST

Retired Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is likely to be the country's first Lokpal, or the anti-corruption ombudsman said a report on Sunday. The other members of the Lokpal would include four former High Court judges and four former civil servants.

His name was shortlisted by the Lokpal Search Committee and on Friday the Lokpal Selection Committee comprising prime minister, chief justice of India, Lok Sabha speaker and an eminent jurist finalized Justice Ghose name.

The leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress member, who is part of the committee, did not attend the meeting. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was notified in early 2014, but no one has been appointed to the post. The Supreme Court, hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, has been pushing the government to make the appointments.

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

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Justice Ghose retired from the Supreme Court in May 2017. He has been serving as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 2017. He was also the former Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and a former judge of the Calcutta High Court.

As per the law, the Lokpal will have the authority to probe complaints against current and former Prime Ministers, Union Minister, members of Parliament, government employees and employees of public sector undertakings. He or she would also have the power to investigate employees of non-governmental organisations receiving more than Rs 10 lakh a year in foreign contributions.