Former SC judge Justice Ghose to be first Lokpal

Former SC judge Justice Ghose to be first Lokpal

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose. (Image courtesy Twitter)

Retired Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is likely to be the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman, sources said on Sunday.

Justice Ghose (66), who retired as Supreme Court judge in May 2017, is currently a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and is learnt to be in active consideration by the Lokpal selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There is no official announcement till now.

If the government goes ahead with the appointment, it could lead to a controversy as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is an invitee to the Select Committee, had boycotted the panel’s meeting on Friday.

It was six years ago that the Lokpal law was passed, but it could not be realised till now owing to various issues. The law envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states.

A person who is or has been the CJI or a SC judge is eligible for appointment as Lokpal. 

As the name was speculated in media, lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted, “Justice PC Ghosh rec (recommended) for Lokpal!? Bhattacharya J, former CJ Guj had written a stinker to President about how Ghosh J had recommended appointment of the undeserving sister of former CJI Kabir to Cal HC. After that Ghosh J was appointed to SC superseding Bhattacharya. Why was Lokpal shortlist not disclosed?”

Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi tweeted, "exceedingly happy to see the announcement of LOKPAL. It shall strengthen all anti-corruption systems in the country and give a big boost to vigilance work at all levels. Thank #AnnaHazare for having led and persevered for this cause. Jai Hind."