With reports of India’s first Lokpal likely to be announced tomorrow, Anna Hazare, the Gandhian anti-corruption crusader who fuelled a nationwide movement for the appointment of a central anti-corruption ombudsman, hailed the Centre’s move saying that the people’s movement has finally won. As per reports, former Supreme Court justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is likely to be appointed to the post.
“I welcome the decision of appointing the country’s first Lokpal. The people’s movement for it, going on for 48 years now, has finally won,” Anna Hazare told reporters as per PTI.
Justice Ghosh had retired as a Supreme Court judge in May 2017. His name has reportedly been actively considered by a panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official told the agency, refusing to divulge further details. However, there is no official confirmation yet on his appointment by the government.
The appointment of the Lokpal may lead to political storm as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had boycotted the panel’s meeting last Friday. A law was passed in 2013 for appointments of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states to look into corruption cases against some categories of public servants.
Recently, Supreme Court asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to inform it in 10 days on possible date for selection committee meeting. Venugopal had informed Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna on March 7 that Lokpal search committee led former apex court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai suggested three names to the selection panel for appointments of chairperson, judicial and non-judicial members in the anti-corruption body.
Also read: Former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose set to become India’s first Lokpal: Report
During the hearing in Supreme Court, the AG told the bench that he would ask the Department of Personnel and Training to make sure that the selection committee meeting is held at the earliest. The apex court had also refused to pass orders to disclose names in three panels. The meeting of the committee was held following court’s proceedings.