President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday cleared the appointment of former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as first Lokpal of India.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said that the President Kovind has cleared the appointment of Justice Ghose as Chairperson and nine others as members of the Lokpal following a recommendation from the Selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and Ajay Kumar Tripathi are the five judicial members in the Lokpal. The non-judicial members are Dinesh Kumar Jain, Archana Ramasundaram, Mahender Singh and Dr Indrajeet Prasad Gautam.
The communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan added that the appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices.
The 66-year-old Justice Ghose retired as SC judge in May 2017. He is currently a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He was appointed as the judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997. Justice Ghose was elevated to the SC in 2013. During his tenure as the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Justice Ghose had convicted Sasikala, the close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, in a corruption case.
On Sunday, it was reported that Ghose's name was finalised and recommended by the Selection Committee comprising of PM Narendra Modi, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also a member of the high-power committee, skipped the meeting.
The Lokpal Act was passed in 2013 and it involves the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to probe corruption cases against certain categories of public servants, including current and former prime ministers, Union ministers, members of Parliament, government employees and employees of public sector undertakings, and employees of NGOs receiving more than Rs 10 lakh a year in foreign contributions, among others.