The selection of Pinaki Chandra Ghose, as India’s first anti-corruption ombudsman, or Lokpal is well timed with the next general elections being merely a few months away. However, it’s heartening that the first Lokpal in the country is someone like Ghose who with the former chief justice of India J S Khehar-led bench, had sentenced Calcutta High Court Judge C S Karnan to six months in jail for contempt of court.
He will also be remembered for his verdicts that barred photos of politicians in government advertisements, the prosecution of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and her aide V K Sasikala, restoring criminal conspiracy charges against senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. Such a man at the helm of Lokpal will surely rise for the aam admi.
But we should not forget that the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas will not have powers to punish the guilty, but only book charges. Without the power to punish, the Lokpal and the Lokayukta are like showpieces of a political showroom
Bidyut Chatterjee Faridabad
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