The Centre Lokpal Selection Committee have appointed Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as India’s first Lokpal. The Selection Committee comprising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and an eminent jurists have finalised Justice P.C. Ghose’s name for the first Lokpal. Ghose was one of the leading names shortlisted by the Lokpal Committee on Friday.
Passed in 2014, the Lokpal Act involves the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption. The Supreme Court, in its hearing on January 4 had asked the government to appoint a Lokpal at the earliest. The Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for repeatedly delaying the appointment of the Lokpal. Recently, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had asked the NDA government to finalise the names with earliest.
Lokpal being a strong weapon for investigating against top high profile personalises including Prime Minister, Union ministers, MPs, government employees and public servants and others. This new authority will work with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
Meanwhile, the Selection Committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi, and other panelists. However senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge refused to attend the meeting and alleged that the government has been using his refusal to attend the selection committee meetings as an excuse for not appointing a Lokpal over the last five years.
Here are the 5 things to know about India’s first Lokpal, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose:
1. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was born in Kolkata. He is a former Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and also a former judge of Calcutta High Court.
2. The former Supreme Court Judge has completed his graduation in law (LL.B.) from University of Calcutta and first enrolled as an advocate with Bar Council of West Bengal.
3. He has held several top positions like Executive Chairman, Andaman and Nicobar State Legal Services Authority and Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, West Bengal, and was also chairman of Institutional Ethics Committee of National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata.
4. His appointment has come nearly five years after the Lokpal Act was notified in 2014.
5. Justice Ghose, 67, who is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 2017, retired from the Supreme Court on May 27, 2017.