Former SC judge P C Ghose appointed India's first Lokpal
New Delhi, Mar 19: Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, former Supreme Court judge was on Tuesday apponted as the country's first Lokpal. His appointment has been cleared by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Born 28 May 1952, Pinaki Chandra Ghose is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. He enrolled at the Bar in 1976.
Prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court, he had served as Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and before that, as a Justice of the Calcutta High Court. He is presently a member of the National Human Rights Commission.
The appointment has come through five years after the Lokpal Act was notified for effecting a panel of ombudsmen to look into cases of corruption and maladministration by public servants.
Former Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) chief Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam have been appointed as non-judicial members of
Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and Ajay Kumar Tripathi have been appointed as judicial members in the anti-corruption ombudsman.
These appointments were recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee and approved by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Opposition parties had been accusing the Modi government of delaying the appointment of Lokpal.
The selection of the Lokpal followed the insistence of the Supreme Court, which asked the government what steps had been taken to set up the mechanism expected to consider complaints of corruption in high places.
The Anna Hazare-led movement had gained wide traction in 2013 in the wake of a series of scams like Commonwealth Games, 2G and Coalgate during the Manmohan Singh government.
The demand for Lokpal lost steam with subsequent efforts at mobilisation on the issue drawing a tepid response. However, the SC continued to exert pressure on the government, leading to the selection committee of PM Narendra Modi, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi considering candidates and agreeing on Justice Ghose. Kharge stayed away from the meetings.