Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is India’s first Lokpal

President Ramnath Kovind nominated Justice Ghose on Tuesday, barely a month before Lok Sabha election, making the opposition see red

Lokpal Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose

• Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was appointed on Tuesday the first Lokpal of the country
• With Justice Ghose, four judicial members and four other members have been appointed in the committee too
• Justice Ghose has been a former judge of the Supreme Court and is currently a member of the NHRC

New Delhi: Just before the Lok Sabha election, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been appointed by the Union government as the first Lokpal (ombudsman) of the country.

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Ghose’s reputation is that of an expert on human rights issues. President Ram Nath Kovind approved of his appointment formally on Tuesday.

Other members of Lokpal committee

Justices PC Ghose was appointed as the Lokpal along with associates Justice Dilip B Bhosle, Justice Pradeep Kumar Mohanty, Justice Abhi Lasha Kumari and Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi.

Along with the judicial members above, four other members will man the committee: Dinesh Kumar Jain, Archana Ramasundaram, Mahendra Singh and Inderjit Prasad Gautam.

Justice PC Ghose, who?

Justice Ghose, the first Lokpal of the country, has been a former judge of the Supreme Court. He was once the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He would often uphold human rights in his judgments.

Justice Ghose is known for his excellent understanding of and expertise in laws related to human rights. He is also a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The members of the select committee for the appointment of the country’s ombudsman are the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India or a person who would represent him, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP), the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a jurist.

Even though India hasn’t had an LoP since the 2014 general election owing to no opposition party getting at least 10% of seats in Parliament, the Narendra Modi government had said that the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha could be included as a special invitee. However, Mallikarjun Kharge did not attend the selection committee meeting.

Congress leader Kharge instead accused the government of “arbitrary” behaviour. However, all protests notwithstanding, the Modi government has finally, with the President’s consent, appointed a Lokpal.