Justice PC Ghosh Appointed First Lokpal of India: India’s First Lokpal ||

Justice PC Ghosh Appointed First Lokpal of India: Justice Pinaki Ghose on Saturday (23 March 2019) took oath as the first Lokpal of India — the national anti-corruption ombudsman. Pinaki Chandra Ghose (born 28 May 1952) is currently Lokpal of India since 23rd March 2019. He is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. Prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court, he had served as Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and before that, as a Justice of the Calcutta High Court. He is presently a member of the National Human Rights Commission.

He appointed as the first Lokpal of India on March 19, 2019 and President of India administered oath to him on 23 March 2019. He will remain at the post till 70 years of his age or up to maximum 5 years whichever is earlier.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi were present on the occasion. The former Supreme Court judge’s appointment comes five years after the Lokpal Act received the President’s nod on January 1, 2014. A high-level selection committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, the panel’s “eminent jurist member”, cleared Justice Ghose’ name at its meeting.Justice PC Ghosh

A Lokpal is an anti-corruption authority or body of ombudsmen who represents the public interest in the Republic of India. The current Chairperson of Lokpal is Pinaki Chandra Ghose. The Lokpal has jurisdiction over central government to inquire into allegations of corruption against its public functionaries and for matters connected to corruption. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013 with amendments in parliament, following the Jan Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare in 2011. The Lokpal is responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level while the Lokayukta performs the same function at the state level.

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As of March 2019, and ever since the related Act of Parliament was passed in India. Retired Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is appointed as the first Lokpal of India by a committee consisting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Loksabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on 17 march 2019. It comprises of a chair person and 8 members where 4 members (50%) are judicial members who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court while other 4 members (50%) are non-judicial members are people of impeccable integrity and outstanding ability having special knowledge & expertise of not less than twenty-five years in the matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance & banking, law & management.

Former Chief Justices of different high courts — Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari — besides sitting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi were appointed as judicial members in the Lokpal.

Former first woman chief of Sashastra Seema Bal Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, former IRS officer Mahender Singh and Gujarat cadre ex-IAS officer Indrajeet Prasad Gautam are the Lokpal’s non-judicial members.

Features of Lokpal Bill and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011.

** Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of the states.

** Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50 per cent shall be judicial members.

** 50 per cent of members of Lokpal shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.

** Prime Minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal.

** Lokpal’s jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants.

** All entities receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs 10 lakh per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.

** Provides adequate protection for honest and upright public servants.

** Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.

** A high powered committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI.

** Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director.

** The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.

** Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal.

** The bill also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.

** The bill lays down clear time lines for preliminary enquiry and investigation and trial and towards this end, the bill provides for setting up of special courts.

** A mandate for setting up of the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within a period of 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.

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