New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been selected as the first Lokpal of India. The official announcement is expected to be made on Monday.
A source said his name was finalised at a meeting of the Lokpal selection committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Chief Justice of India Gogoi, and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi Friday evening. Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, a special invitee to the selection committee meeting, had refused to attend, saying a special invitee would not have any rights of participation in the process of selection and he couldn’t accept the “opposition being made voiceless in a critical matter”.
Justice Ghose, who is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 2017, retired from the Supreme Court on 27 May 2017. He is a former judge of the Calcutta High Court and former chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Justice Ghose retired in May 2017.
On 7 March, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had asked the Modi government to inform the court within a fortnight by when it would finalise the names.
On 17 January, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for repeatedly delaying the appointment of the Lokpal.