Allahabad HC Dismisses Challenge Against Justice PC Ghose's Appointment As India's First Lokpal [Read Judgment]
"We are of the considered opinion that the Chairperson and Members of Lokpal are not an employment under the Government"
The Allahabad High Court, last week, dismissed a challenge against appointment of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the Chairman of Lok Pal.
Rajneesh Kumar had approached the High Court contending that Justice Ghose, who was former member of National Human Rights Commission was ineligible to be considered and appointed on the said post in view of the bar under Section 6(3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
The Division bench comprising Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Justice Rajnish Kumar observed that the Chairperson and Members of Lokpal are not an employment under the Government therefore the prohibition for employment under the Government of India or under the Government of any State is not applicable in this case.
Section 6(3) provides that on ceasing to hold office, a Chairperson or a Member of NHRC shall be ineligible for further employment under the Government of India or under the Government of any State. Referring to the appointment procedure and also the provisions of Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the bench observed that the chairmanship of LokPal is not an employment under the Government, as the Government has not even supervision or control over him as per the Act. He is not a subordinate or subservient to the government of India.
"He is neither amenable to the directions of the Government of India, nor is he accountable to them for the manner in which he discharges his functions as per the Act. On the other hand, he is empowered to enquire or cause inquire or cause an inquiry to be conducted into any matter involved in, or arising from, or connected with, any allegation of corruption made in a complaint even against the Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of Parliament. He is not appointed by the Government. The Government has nothing to do with his appointment. The President appoints him not on the advice of the Cabinet as in the case of the government appointments but on the recommendation of a Special Selection Committee provided under the Act which cannot be said to be a recommendation of the Government."
Dismissing the writ petition, the bench further observed:
"The Chairperson of Lokpal who has been appointed on the recommendation of a Selection Committee provided under the Act by the President of India by a warrant of appointment on the recommendation of a special Selection Committee and empowered to make enquiry even against the Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of Parliament cannot be said to be an employment under the Government of India only because he has been appointed by the President of India and paid salary from the Government exchequer."