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March 19, 2019

First Lokpal of India is Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose


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The Centre has appointed former SC judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the Chairperson of the first Lokpal five years after the notification of the Lokpal and Lok Ayukta Act.

The move comes on the back of SC orders to the Centre to complete the Lokpal appointment process in a time bound manner.

The CJI-led bench on March 7directed the centre to inform the date of selection committee meeting within 10 days. Comprising PM Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi (in capacity of eminent person), the selection committee appointed eight others as members of the Lokpal.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, refused to attend the meetings of the selection panel on grounds that he hadn’t been invited as the Leader of the largest opposition party but as a special invitee.

Envisaged as a national anti-corruption ombudsman with powers to deal with corruption allegations against any person who is or has been a PM or Union minister, and central govt. employees in groups A, B, C and D, the Lokpal, will have its own inquiry wing and prosecution wing, and will have the powers to supervise investigation by the CBI.

There are provisions for establishment of Special Courts for trying the offences under the Act.

Justice Ghhhose retired as SC judge on May 27, 2017, after a term of four years at the top court. Presently, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, Justice Ghose headed the bench which decided the disproportionate assets case against former TN CM Jayalalitha and her aide Sasikala. His judgment restored the trial court’s conviction and sentenced Sasikala to imprisonment. He also helmed the bench which restored conspiracy charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, Uma Bharati and Murali Manohar Joshi in the Babri Masjid demolition cases.

Justice Ghose was part of the bench which banned the practices of Jallikattu and bullock cart races as contrary to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

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