New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been chosen as the country’s first Lokpal and an official announcement over his appointment is expected on Monday, reports suggest. PC Ghose’s name was finalized in a meeting on Friday, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The appointment comes five years after the Lokpal Act was notified to erect a panel of individuals chosen by the government- who would look into cases of corruption against public servants.
Justice Ghose, who retired from the Supreme Court in May 2017, is currently a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He is also a former judge of the Calcutta High Court and former chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Reportedly, the selection committee constituted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi.
On Friday, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge refused the government’s offer to attend the scheduled meeting of the Lokpal Selection Committee on Friday, saying there was no provision for a “Special Invitee” to attend the meet.
“Since there is no provision under Section 4 of the Lokpal Act, 2013 for a Special Invitee to be a part of the Selection Committee or attend these meetings, I am once again forced to respectfully decline this invitation,” Kharge wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Opposition leader also accused the government of using his refusal to attend the past meetings of the Selection Committee as a special invitee as an “excuse” to not appoint a Lokpal. This is the seventh time Kharge has refused to attend the Selection Committee meeting.
With inputs from Ravindra Tripathi