Delhi is all set to get an anti-corruption Ombudsman after a gap of almost two years. The name of former Delhi high court judge Reva Khetrapal was chosen unanimously on Tuesday as Delhi’s new Lokayukta, a post lying vacant since 2013.
The decision was taken in a meeting convened by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and was attended by Delhi High Court chief justice G Rohini, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Opposition leader in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta.
Khetrapal’s name was chosen from a panel of three former judges proposed by Delhi government’s law department for the Lokayukta’s post. The other two names were that of retired Orissa High Court chief justice Bilak Nazki and retired Punjab and Haryana chief justice Jasbir Singh.
Officials said the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung would now recommend Khetrapal’s name for appointment to the post.
Sources said the Delhi government had suggested the name of the 63-year-old judge to the chief justice in July this year. But the chief justice had then directed the government to expand the panel of names and consult the lieutenant governor and Leader of Opposition for deciding on a name.
As per Delhi Lokayukta and Uplokayukta Act, 1995, every person appointed as Lokayukta or Upalokayukta will hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he or she enters office and not be eligible for re-appointment.
The last Lokayukta, justice (retd) Manmohan Sarin, had relinquished office in November 2013 after a five-year term.
The appointment of the Lokayukta had run into controversy for the past two years with the opposition parties gunning for the Aam Aadmi Party government for not appointing the anti-corruption Ombudsman.
The ruling party had maintained that the current office of Lokayukta was a ‘toothless’ body and they would appoint it after passing the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The government, however, decided to clear the appointment after the matter reached court.