Justice P.C. Ghose appointed first Lokpal

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  1. President of India has appointed Justice(retired) Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the first Lokpal of India.President has also appointed four judicial members and four non judicial members as well.
  2. The Government had enacted the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act,2013.The Act allows setting up of anti-corruption ombudsman called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the State-level.The Lokpal will cover all categories of public servants,including the Prime Minister.But the armed forces do not come under the ambit of Lokpal.
  3. The Lokpal consists of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members.The chairperson and at least half of the members have to be current or former judges of the Supreme Court or chief justices of the high courts.
  4. The search panel setup for lokpal recommends at least five names for chairperson and at least three times the number of vacancies in the case of members.This recommendation has to be placed before the high-power selection committee led by the Prime Minister.The selection committee comprises of (a)Prime minister (b)lok sabha speaker (c)the Leader of the Opposition (d)the Chief Justice of India and an (e)eminent jurist.
  5. The Act also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means,even while the prosecution is pending.The States have to institute Lokayukta within one year of the commencement of the Act.The Act also ensures that public servants who act as whistleblowers are protected.
  6. The Lokpal will have the power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by the ombudsman.As per the Act,the Lokpal can summon or question any public servant if there exists a prima facie case against the person, even before an investigation agency (such as vigilance or CBI) has begun the probe.Any officer of the CBI investigating a case referred to it by the Lokpal,shall not be transferred without the approval of the Lokpal.
  7. An investigation must be completed within six months. However, the Lokpal or Lokayukta may allow extensions of six months at a time provided the reasons for the need of such extensions are given in writing.Special courts will be instituted to conduct trials on cases referred by Lokpal.