Ensure CIC is free from government interference, Sridhar Acharyulu writes to President Kovind | India News

NEW DELHI: Former Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu on Monday wrote to the President to assure that the new chief details commissioner and info commissioners have independence with regard to the ‘term, position and salary’ as delivered by the Ideal to Facts Act.

In his letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, Acharyulu urged that their time period, status and salary shall not be “as approved by the central government” as contemplated by the existing government in the proposed amendment to the RTI Act.

The RTI Act presents for a term of five many years or 65 years of age, whichever is previously, for the chief details commissioner and data commissioners.

The salaries and allowances payable to and other conditions and ailments of support of the main information commissioner shall be the very same as that of the main election commissioner and an data commissioner shall be the same as that of an election commissioner.

The Centre experienced not too long ago contemplated to change the company circumstances which was strongly objected to by the civil modern society and former commissioners.

“The federal government shall assure that it will not interfere in the functioning of Central Info Fee and also to insulate the workplace of Chief Information Commissioner or personal commissioner from immediate or indirect pressures or interferences from any of its places of work these kinds of as PMO or the Ministry of DoPT,” he explained.

Acharyulu also urged the president to make certain that the new chief details commissioner, possible to be selected quickly by the authorities, was not from the administration industry.

Citing portion 12 (5) of the RTI Act, he mentioned the Act presents for picking folks of eminence owning practical experience in law, science and technological know-how, social services, administration, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.

“As the Chief Data Commissioner in all these 13 yrs was chosen from the industry of administration only, at the very least, this time an eminent human being from the area other than administration may perhaps be picked,” he urged.

Acharyulu, who gave several path-breaking verdicts in the course of his five calendar year tenure in the Central Info Fee (CIC), stated with authorities from a variety of fields, there will be no scope for bureaucratic vast majority or domination in its administration, besides accommodating diverse viewpoints.

If the govt selects a lot more amount of former bureaucrats for these posts, it will be a breach of the letter and spirit of the transparency legislation and a lot more notably that of Segment 12(5) of RTI Act, which may well not stand the scrutiny by the judiciary, he argued.

The former information commissioner stated the Range Committee should make sure that the new commissioners appointed shall have full independence with regard to the time period, status and wage as offered by the RTI Act.

“Their phrase, position and wage shall not be ‘as recommended by the Central Government’ as contemplated by the current Govt in the proposed amendment to RTI Act,” he reported.

Acharyulu, previous law professor, retired as the data commissioner on November 21.

Main Data Commissioner RK Mathur and Information Commissioners Yashovardhan Azad and Amitava Bhattacharyya also retired in quick succession, leaving the panel headless.

Acharyulu said the Fee experienced knowledgeable absence of administration for a number of months when the governing administration unsuccessful to appoint the chief information and facts commissioner, 3 several years ago, soon after the retirement of the then main.

“Leaving 7 positions of CICs will also lead to maximize in pendency of 2nd appeals or grievances,” he explained.

The hold off in information quantities to denial of facts and hold off in information and facts justice also indicates its denial, he explained.

Talking at the annual conference of the Central Data Fee on October 12, minister of point out for personnel Jitendra Singh had taken a dig at the previous UPA dispensation for leading to vacancies in the Commission.

He had reported it was the very first time that the Fee attained entire strength as underneath the preceding federal government, sometimes only three commissioners were left.

In the meantime, the CIC is all over again left with only a few information commissioners as from the complete power of a chief information and facts commissioner and 10 info commissioners.

“The condition is starting to be exact same again … We are aware of the predicament and we will not maintain back again these kinds of appointments,” Singh experienced said in October.

Having said that, this is the 3rd time that the Fee, the greatest adjudicating authority in RTI matters, is devoid of a head considering that the NDA authorities took in excess of in 2014.

The Commission remained headless for 10 months among August 22, 2014 to June 10, 2015 right after the retirement of Rajiv Mathur, then CIC.

Once again, the panel was headless for nearly a thirty day period just after the retirement of then CIC Vijay Sharma on December 1, 2015. He was succeeded by RK Mathur on January 2, 2016.

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