Justice A.M. Khanwilkar- New Lokpal Chairperson Boosts Anti-Corruption Efforts

Image of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Former Supreme Court Judge, Appointed as Lokpal Chairperson, Signifying a Boost in Anti-Corruption Efforts
Justice A.M. Khanwilkar- New Lokpal Chairperson Boosts Anti-Corruption Efforts

The Central government has designated former Supreme Court Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre as the new Chairperson of the anti-corruption watchdog, Lokpal, succeeding Justice Khanwilkar. Justice Khanwilkar, who assumes office for a term of five years or until the age of 70, brings with him a wealth of legal experience and expertise.

Background of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar:

Justice Khanwilkar, aged 65, boasts over two decades of legal practice in the Bombay High Court, specializing in labor, industrial, and constitutional laws.

Elevated to the status of Permanent Judge in the Bombay HC in 2013, he presided over several groundbreaking cases during his tenure.

In 2015, Justice Khanwilkar ascended to the Supreme Court, where he spent over six years before retiring in 2022 upon reaching the age of 65.

Notable for his participation in crucial Constitution benches, his judgments have shaped significant legal precedents, including rulings on the SC/ST Act, Aadhaar, and the Sabarimala issue.

About the Lokpal:

Established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the Lokpal serves as an independent statutory body tasked with investigating corruption allegations against public servants.

Appointment to the Lokpal, including the Chairperson and eight members, is made by a high-level selection committee chaired by the Prime Minister and composed of key dignitaries.

Despite Justice Khanwilkar's appointment, vacancies persist within the Lokpal, hindering its operational efficiency since the conclusion of former Chief Justice P.C. Ghose's term in 2022.

Powers and Functions of Lokpal Chairperson:

Endowed with powers of superintendence and direction, the Lokpal Chairperson oversees the conduct of business and exercises control over the institution's officials and staff.

Responsible for constituting investigative benches and allocating cases, the Chairperson plays a pivotal role in the inquiry and investigation of corruption complaints against public servants, ranging from the highest echelons of power to central government employees.

Justice A.M. Khanwilkar's appointment signifies a rejuvenation of anti-corruption vigilance within the Lokpal, yet the ongoing vacancies within the institution underscore the need for further appointments to ensure its optimal functioning.

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