Former SC judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose set to be first Lokpal of India
New Delhi, Mar 17: Former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is all set to be the first Lokpal of India. The government may make an announcement of the appointment of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh as Lokpal on Monday.
Justice Ghose, who retired from the Supreme Court in May 2017, is presently a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The Supreme Court had on March 7 sought to know, within 10 days, the possible date for the Selection Committee's meeting to finalise names for the Lokpal -- a three-member, anti-corruption watchdog comprising a chairman, a judicial and non-judicial member.
A Search Committee was constituted under Section 4(3) of the Lokayuktas Act, 2013 for the purpose of recommending a panel of names for the appointment of the chairperson and members of the Lokpal.
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.
The Lokpal is expected to work along with the Central Vigilance Commission and can order any investigating agency, including CBI, to probe allegations of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Meanwhile, Congress' leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, had been asked to attend the Selection Committee meeting as a special invitee, but he had refused to attend it. He stated that as a special invitee he would not have any rights to vote. The Congress leader had claimed that the opposition was being made "voiceless" in a crucial matter.