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Former SC judge A M Khanwilkar administered oath as Lokpal chairperson

New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) Former Supreme Court judge Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar was administered the oath of office as the Lokpal chairperson on Sunday, nearly two years after the post fell vacant.

New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) Former Supreme Court judge Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar was administered the oath of office as the Lokpal chairperson on Sunday, nearly two years after the post fell vacant.

Justice (retired) Khanwilkar, 66, served as a judge of the apex court from May 13, 2016 to July 29, 2022.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office of chairperson, Lokpal to Khanwilkar at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Sunday evening, according to an official statement.

Justice (retired) Khanwilkar was appointed as the Lokpal chairperson in the last week of February.

Chairperson of the Law Commission of India and former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Ritu Raj Awasthi, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court Lingappa Narayana Swamy and former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Sanjay Yadav were appointed as judicial members in the Lokpal.

The Lokpal was functioning without its regular chief since Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose completed his term on May 27, 2022.

Justice (retired) Khanwilkar was part of several constitution benches of the apex court which delivered important judgements.

One of the landmark verdicts was the September 2018 judgement in which the top court held as 'irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary' section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised consensual gay sex.

He was in a constitution bench that had declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including linking it to bank accounts, mobile phones, and school admissions.

Justice (retired) Khanwilkar was also part of the apex court verdict that upheld the Special Investigation Team's clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in the 2002 riots case.

Born in Pune, Khanwilkar had also been Chief Justice of the High Courts of Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The chairperson and members of the Lokpal are appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendations of a Selection Committee having the prime minister as its chairperson.

Apart from a chairperson, the Lokpal can have eight members -- four judicial and as many non-judicial.

Former civil servants Sushil Chandra, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Tirkey have been appointed as the non-judicial members in the Lokpal. PTI SKL SMN SMN

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