Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose Current Affairs - 2019

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Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose Sworn-in as Lokpal

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the Oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as Lokpal. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is the first anti-corruption ombudsman of the country. Country’s first Lokpal has been appointed after a long delay of five years. The Lokpal Act had received the assent of the President on January 1, 2014.

Members of Lokpal

The Lokpal act provides for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal panel and of these, four need to be judicial members.

Judicial Members of Lokpal

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

Non-judicial members

The non-judicial members of the Lokpal are 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.

The chairperson and members will hold office for a term of five years or till they attain 70 years of age. The salary and allowances of the chairman are same as that of the Chief Justice of India. The salary and allowances of members are same as that of a judge of the Supreme Court.

Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose to be the First Lokpal

The name of former Supreme Court Judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been cleared by the Lokpal Selection Committee headed by the Prime Minister. The notification for the appointment is expected to be released soon. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose would be the first Lokpal of India.

Salient features of the Lokpal Act 2013

  • The Lokpal Act provides for setting up of an anti-corruption ombudsman called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the State-level.
  • The Lokpal would 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.
  • The ambit of Lokpal would cover all categories of public servants, including the Prime Minister with the exception of armed forces.
  • The Lokpal Act mandated the states to institute Lokayukta within one year of the commencement of the Act.
  • Lokpal will also have powers of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by the Lokpal.
  • Lokpal is appointed based on the recommendation of the five-member panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist nominated by the President.
  • President would appoint the eminent jurist based on the recommendations of the other members of the panel.

The government has proposed an amendment to the Lokpal Act 2013 to enable the leader of the largest Opposition party to be the member of the selection panel in the absence of the leader of Opposition. To designate the leader as Leader of Opposition the largest opposition party must have a strength of at least 10% of the total members in the House and none of the parties managed to cross this mark in 2014 general elections.