Bharat Express

Panel Chaired by PM Modi Approves Nominees for Lokpal Chief and Vigilance Commissioner

PM Modi-Led Panel Confirms Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty as Lokpal Acting Chair, Clears Nominee for Vigilance Commissioner Post

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Supreme Court Judge Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar Elected as Lokpal Chairperson; Aeratu S. Rajeev was Chosen as Vigilance Commissioner. In a recent development, a committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has selected Supreme Court Judge Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar as the new chairperson of Lokpal, and Aeratu S. Rajeev, Managing Director (MD) of Bank of Maharashtra, as the Vigilance Commissioner (VC). The decision, announced on Wednesday by officials familiar with the proceedings, marks a significant step in reinforcing the leadership of key anti-corruption institutions in the country.

During the selection process, Congress’s floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, a selection panel member, raised a brief dissent note concerning Rajeev’s nomination. Chowdhury had proposed the name of Atanu Das, former MD and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank of India, for the VC post. However, according to officials, he did not oppose Khanwilkar’s appointment, as his candidacy was communicated to him at the last moment.

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Currently, Lokpal is under the interim leadership of Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty. One of the two VC positions remains vacant, awaiting Rajeev’s confirmation.

Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar brings a wealth of judicial experience to his new role. Confirmed as a permanent judge in the Bombay High Court in April 2002, Khanwilkar has served as the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court and Madhya Pradesh High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court in May 2016. Notably, he was part of the majority decision in the landmark Common Cause v Union of India (2018) case, affirming the right to die with dignity as a fundamental right under Article 21.

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A.S. Rajeev, appointed MD and CEO of Bank of Maharashtra in December 2018, has been granted an extension until May 31, 2024, following his tenure extension in November 2023. Before his role at BoM, he served as the Executive Director of the Indian Bank and was a director at the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Rajeev’s extensive experience in the banking sector positions him well for his new responsibilities as Vigilance Commissioner.”