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Justice (Retd.) Pinaki Chandra Ghose likely to be appointed the first Lokpal
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Justice (Retd.) Pinaki Chandra Ghose likely to be appointed the first Lokpal

Bar & Bench

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is likely to be appointed the first Lokpal, reports The Print.

As per the report, the notification about the appointment of Justice Ghose as chairman of the Lokpal — as well as the selection of eight others as members of the national anti-corruption ombudsman — is likely to be finalised early next week.

Non-appointment of Lokpal has been a contentious issue. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was notified in early 2014, but no one has been appointed to the post.

A petition came to be filed in Supreme Court seeking appointment of Lokpal. The Central government had contested the same taking the stand in court that Lokpal cannot be appointed without a Leader of Opposition and there was no leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha.

The Court in its 2016 judgment, had turned down this submission by the Centre and had made it clear that the absence of Leader of Opposition in the Selection Committee will not make the appointment of Lokpal invalid.

The Selection Committee which appoints Lokpal, consists of the Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him and an eminent jurist who is to be recommended by the aforementioned four members.

A contempt petition subsequently, came to be filed in Supreme Court for not implementing the 2016 judgment of the Supreme Court. Eventually, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who had appeared for the Centre and taken the stand that Lokpal cannot be appointed, was appointed as the eminent jurist on the Selection Committee tasked with appointing the Lokpal.

The contempt petition is still pending in Supreme Court.