1. Retired Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is the country’s first Lokpal
2. A person “Who is or has been a Chief Justice of India, 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” is eligible for the post of Lok Sabha.
3. A Lokpal is an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman who represents the public interest.
4. The concept of an ombudsman is borrowed from Sweden.
5. Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was enacted in December 2013.
6. There was a public movement for a Jan Lokpal Bill, initiated by activist Anna Hazare and others such as Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal.
7. The term “Lokpal” was coined by Dr. L.M.Singhvi in 1963.
8. Justice Ghose was selected by committee headed by the Prime Minister.
9. Under the 2013 Act, the Lokpal should consist of a chairperson and such number of members, not exceeding eight, of whom 50% should be judicial members.
10. The Act states that not less than 50% of the members of the Lokpal should be from among persons belonging to the SCs, the STs, OBCs, minorities and women.
11. • The same rules apply members of the search committee. Salaries, allowances and service conditions of the Lokpal chairperson will be the same as those for the Chief Justice of India and those for other members will be the same as those for a judge of the Supreme Court.
12. Regarding Lokayukta, Every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta for the State, if not so established, constituted, by a law made by the State Legislature.
13. If not established, they have to be established within one year from the date of the commencement of the Act. This is as per Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act.
14. The motive behind decades of struggle to implement the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is to provide a forum to the citizenry where they can raise their voice against corruption without any fear.
15. Institutions like Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation have mostly failed to prevent the widespread corruption.
16. Looking at the low ranking of India in Corruption on global level, there is a need to check the corruption by strong institutions.
17. It shall function independent from any political influence.
18. There is a need for a mechanism that provides for simple, independent, speedy means of delivering justice by redressing the grievances of the people without succumbing to the clutches of the executive.
19. The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) recommended the enacting of the Office of a Lokpal, convinced that such an institution was justified, not only for removing the sense of injustice from the minds of citizens, but also to instill public confidence in the efficiency of the administrative machinery.
About Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Pinaki Chandra Ghose (born 28 May 1952) is currently Lokpal of India since 19th March 2019. He is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. Prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court, he had served as Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and before that, as a Justice of the Calcutta High Court. He is presently a member of the National Human Rights Commission. He appointed as the first Lokpal of India on March 19, 2019. He will remain at the post till 70 years of his age or up to maximum 5 years whichever is earlier.
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is son of Late Shri Justice Sambhu Chandra Ghose, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. He is a fifth generation lawyer in the family of Dewan Baranasi Ghose of Jorasanko, a renowned family from the northern provinces of the City of Calcutta. Hara Chandra Ghose, who became the first Indian Chief Judge of the Sadar Dewani Adalat at Calcutta in 1867, was a member of this family.