India has got its first Lokpal, an anti-corruption ombudsman. Pinaki Chandra Ghose, a retired Supreme Court judge, will lead the anti-corruption authority. The selection was made weeks after the February-end deadline set by the Supreme Court. The concept of an ombudsman or Lokpal is borrowed from Sweden. A Lokpal is responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level. PC Ghose's name was finalised and recommended by the Selection Committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, overshooting the February-end deadline set by the Supreme Court to appoint a Lokpal.
5 Facts About Lokpal PC Ghose:
1. Justice PC Ghose, 66, is a member of the National Human Rights Commission. He has been associated with them since June 29, 2017.
2. PC Ghose was appointed as the judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997 and elevated to the Supreme Court in 2013.
3. As the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, he had convicted Sasikala, the live-in companion of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, in a corruption case.
4. As Lokpal of the country, PC Ghose will have the power of inquiry into allegations of corruption against sitting and former ministers and parliamentarians.
5. Justice PC Ghose retired in 2017, after serving four years as the Supreme Court judge.
By definition in the Lokayukta Act, a Lokpal is headed by a person who is or has been a Chief Justice of India or is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or an eminent person... of impeccable integrity and outstanding ability having special knowledge and expertise of not less than 25 years in the matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance and banking, law and management".
Among other non-judicial members of the Lokpal are former Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) woman chief Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam.
The judicial members include former chief justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and Ajay Kumar Tripathi.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013 with amendments in parliament, following the Jan Lokpal movement led by social activist Anna Hazare in 2011.
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