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Former SC judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose to be first Lokpal of India

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Lokpal, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Anna Hazare, Former Supreme Court judge, Ex-SC judge, Anti-corruption ombudsman, National news

New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on Sunday recommended to be the first Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman of India.

His name was finalised and recommended by the Selection Committee comprising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress member, who is part of the committee, did not attend the meeting.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has refused the government’s offer to attend the scheduled meeting of the Lokpal Selection Committee on Friday, saying there was no provision for a “Special Invitee” to attend the meet.

“Since there is no provision under Section 4 of the Lokpal Act, 2013 for a Special Invitee to be a part of the Selection Committee or attend these meetings, I am once again forced to respectfully decline this invitation,” Kharge wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

His letter dated March 14 came following a letter by the Department of Training and Personnel inviting him to attend the meeting.

The Opposition leader also accused the government of using his refusal to attend the past meetings of the Selection Committee as a special invitee as an “excuse” to not appoint a Lokpal.

This is the seventh time Kharge has refused to attend the Selection Committee meeting.

 

Ex-Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose to be 1st Lokpal of India:

 

“Since 2014, the government has not made any attempt to amend the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act to include the leader of the single largest party in the Opposition to be a member of the Selection Committee,” he wrote.

Kharge said a Special Invitee would not have any rights of participation in the process of selection of the Lokpal and that he cannot accept the Opposition being made voiceless in a critical manner.

“However, the fact remains that whatever tardy progress the government has made has only been under pressure from the Supreme Court,” he said.

“By excluding the Opposition, this process is being vitiated and I would like to caution the government that anyone selected through this one-sided process may decline to accept this position,” Kharge said.

The Supreme Court had on March 7 sought to know, within 10 days, the possible date for the Selection Committee’s meeting to finalise names for the Lokpal — a three-member, anti-corruption watchdog comprising a chairman, a judicial and non-judicial member.

A Search Committee was constituted under Section 4(3) of the Lokayuktas Act, 2013 for the purpose of recommending a panel of names for the appointment of the chairperson and members of the Lokpal.

The Committee comprises Chairperson Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai (former judge of Supreme Court) and members Justice Sakha Ram Singh Yadav (former judge of Allahabad High Court), Ranjit Kumar (former Solicitor General of India), Arundhati Bhattacharya (former CMD of SBI), Dr Lalit K. Panwar (former Secretary), Shabbirhusein S. Khandwawala (retired Director General of Gujarat), A. Surya Prakash (Chairman, Prasar Bharti) and Dr A.S. Kiran Kumar (former Chairman of ISRO).

 

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Priyanka starts 2nd leg of UP campaign on Wednesday

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will kick off the second leg of her three-day Lok Sabha election campaign in Uttar Pradesh from Amethi on Wednesday.

She will reach Lucknow on Wednesday morning from where she will travel by road to visit her brother and party President Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi, according to party leaders.

She will go to her mother Sonia Gandhi’s constituency Rae Bareli on Thursday. She will visit Faizabad, near Ayodhya, on Friday.
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During her visits, Priyanka Gandhi will meet party workers and address public gatherings.

From March 18 to 20, she undertook a 140-km-long boat ride from Prayagraj to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi.

The Congress won only two seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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