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  India   All India  18 Mar 2019  Ex-SC judge PC Ghose is likely to be first Lokpal

Ex-SC judge PC Ghose is likely to be first Lokpal

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Mar 18, 2019, 2:37 am IST
Updated : Mar 18, 2019, 2:37 am IST

Sources said his name was understood to have been in active consideration by the Lokpal selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pinaki Chandra Ghose
 Pinaki Chandra Ghose

New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is likely to be appointed as India’s first Lokpal, an anti-corruption ombudsman. Justice Ghose, 66, retired as a Supreme Court judge in May 2017. He is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 29, 2017.

Sources said his name was understood to have been in active consideration by the Lokpal selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There was no official announcement of his appointment by the government. His appointment, if made, may trigger a political storm as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had boycotted the panel’s meet on Friday.

 

The law envisaging the appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against some categories of public servants was passed on 2013. The development comes a week after the Supreme Court asked attorney-general K.K. Venugopal to inform it within 10 days of a possible date for the meeting of the selection panel.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S.A. Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was on March 7 told by Mr Venugopal that the Lokpal search committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai had recommended three panels of names to the selection committee for appointment of the chairperson, judicial and non-judicial members in the anti-graft body. The attorney-general had told the bench that he would ask the secretary of the department of personnel and training to ensure that the meeting of the selection committee was convened as early as possible. The top court refused to pass directions to disclose the names in the three panels. Following the court proceedings, a meeting of the selection panel was held on Friday.

 

The Supreme Court on January 17 set up a February-end deadline for the Lokpal search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as chairman and members. A person who is or has been Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court is eligible for appointment as Lokpal.

According to the rules, there is a provision for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal body. Of these, four need to be judicial members. Not less than 50 per cent of members of the Lokpal panel shall be from among persons from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women, the rules say. Upon selection, the chairperson and members shall hold office for five years or till they attain the age of 70. The salary and allowances of the chairman will be the same as that of the Chief Justice of India.

 

Tags: nhrc, supreme court, pinaki chandra ghose
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi