NEW DELHI, March 17 - Retired Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is said to be in active consideration for appointment as the country�s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman, officials said on Sunday.
Justice Ghose, 66, retired as Supreme Court judge in May 2017. He is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 29, 2017.
His name for the post is understood to have been in active consideration by the Lokpal selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials said, without citing further details.
There was no official announcement of his appointment by the government.
His appointment, if made, may trigger a political storm as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had boycotted the selection panel�s meet on Friday.
The law, which envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed on 2013.
The development comes a week after the Supreme Court asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to inform it within 10 days about a possible date for meeting of the selection committee.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was on March 7 informed by Venugopal that the Lokpal search committee headed by former apex court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai has recommended three panels of names to the selection committee for appointment of chairperson, judicial and non-judicial members in the anti-graft body.
The attorney general had told the bench that he will ask the secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training to ensure that the meeting of the selection committee is convened as early as possible.
The top court had refused to pass directions to disclose names in the three panels.
Following the court�s proceedings, a meeting of selection panel was held on Friday.
The Supreme Court had on January 17 set up a February-end deadline for the Lokpal search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as its chairman and members.
A person who is or has been the Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge is eligible for appointment as Lokpal.
According to rules, there is provision for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal panel.
Of these, four need to be judicial members. � PTI