Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, today, took oath as the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman. President Ram Nath Kovind administered his oath at a small function in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi were present at the ceremony.
Justice Ghose was appointed India’s first Lokpal on Tuesday, more than five years after the Parliament passed the Lokpal Bill. The Lokpal and 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.
A communique issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday said that former Chief Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari besides sitting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi have been appointed as judicial members in the anti-corruption ombudsman.
Former first woman chief of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, former IRS officer Mahender Singh and Gujarat cadre ex-IAS officer Indrajeet Prasad Gautam have been appointed as non-judicial members of the body, it said.
The appointments were recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee and approved by President Ram Nath Kovind.Justice Ghose, 66, retired as Supreme Court judge in May 2017. He is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 29, 2017. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, a member of the Lokpal selection panel, had boycotted its meet last week when the name of Justice Ghose was approved.