Ex Supreme Court Judge P.C. Ghose takes oath as the First Lokpal

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Pinaki Chandra Ghose took oath as the first Lokpal today. The oath was administered by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Ghose, a former Supreme Court judge, was Tuesday named the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Justice Ghose, 66, retired as a Supreme Court judge in May 2017. He was serving as the member of the National Human Rights Commission when his name was announced for the post of Lokpal chairperson.

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. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is son of Late Shri Justice Sambhu Chandra Ghose, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. He is a fifth generation lawyer in the family of Dewan Baranasi Ghose of Jorasanko, a renowned family from the northern provinces of the City of Calcutta. Hara Chandra Ghose, who became the first Indian Chief Judge of the Sadar Dewani Adalat at Calcutta in 1867, was a member of this family

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act

The Lokpal and the Lokayukta Act, which envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed in 2013.

According to the rules, there is provision for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal panel. Of these, four need to be judicial members. Not less than 50 per cent of the members of the Lokpal shall be from amongst the persons belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women, the rules say.

Upon selection, the chairperson and members shall hold office for a term of five years or till they attain 70 years of age.The salary and allowances of the chairman will be same as that of the Chief Justice of India. The members will be paid salary and allowances same as that of a judge of the Supreme Court.

Other Members

Former Chief Justices of different high courts — Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari — besides sitting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi were appointed as judicial members in the Lokpal.

Former first woman chief of Sashastra Seema Bal Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, former IRS officer Mahender Singh and Gujarat cadre ex-IAS officer Indrajeet Prasad Gautam are the Lokpal’s non-judicial members.

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