PC Ghose Tipped To Be India's First Lokpal

Former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is most likely to become India’s first Lokpal, an anti-corruption ombudsman, various media groups quoting government sources reported on Sunday.

Justice Ghose retired from the Supreme Court in May 2017 and has been serving as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since then.

The Selection Committee for Lokpal, comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi reportedly finalised the name during a meeting on Friday, according to a news agency.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress member Mallikarjun Kharge, who is part of the committee, did not attend the meeting which decided on the posting, reports said. Kharge had refused to attend the meeting of the Lokpal selection committee as a “special invitee” for the category does not grant Kharge any rights of participation in the selection process.

In a letter to PM Modi, Kharge wrote that the government had not tried to amend the Lokpal Act to include the leader of the single largest Opposition party as a member of the selection committee, and “nothing stops the government from appointing a Lokpal” even if a leader of Opposition is not there, he said. He reminded Modi that he had objected to being invited as a special invitee at least on six previous occasions.

The Lokpal Act, which envisages establishment of anti-graft body Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed in 2013.

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