Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose becomes the country’s first Lokpal

President Ram Nath Kovind offered the pledge of office to Justice PinakiChandra Ghose as the country’s first Lokpal on Saturday. The oath was delivered at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Ghose on Tuesday named the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman. Former Chief Justices of various high courts — Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari besides assembling Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi were designated as judicial members in the Lokpal.

Lokpal’s non-judicial members are 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. Retired Supreme Court justice Ghose aged 66 retired as in May 2017. He was serving as the member of the National Human Rights Commission during his name was declared for the post of Lokpal chairperson.

The Lokpal and the Lokayukta Act, which visualises selection of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to examine into claims of corruption against some sections of public servants, was passed on 2013. As per the rules, there is provision for a chairperson and a culmination of eight members in the Lokpal panel and four need to be judicial members. 50% of the members of the Lokpal shall be the persons relating to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women. The pay and allowances of the chairman will be the same as that of the Chief Justice of India. The chairperson and members shall hold office for a term of five years or till they attain 70 years of age.

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