Expressing strong reservations of the process being followed to fill up vacancies for the post of Central Information Commissioners (CICs), several concerned citizens have written to the Selection Committee responsible for recommending names. Eight out of 11 posts of information commissioners, including that of the Chief, are lying vacant in the CIC as of now.
As per media reports, the committee is scheduled to meet on December 11, to decide names for posts of four information commissioners and the chief information commissioner of the Central Information Commission.
The letter, sent to the Prime Minister who is the chairperson of the Selection Committee and to Mallikarjun Kharge, who is a member of the committee, highlights that the advertisements, and the accompanying notifications issued by the government inviting applications for vacant posts in the CIC, “were not in keeping with the RTI Act as they did not specify the salaries, allowances and other conditions of service and tenure of information commissioners as provided for in the law.”
Stating that the appointment procedure has been “compromised”, the letter states that the tenure and salaries of information commissioners not being defined in the advertisements issued by the government, would have dissuaded many people of eminence from applying.
The letter, signed by Wajahat Habibullah, Anjali Bhardwaj, Aruna Roy, Shailesh Gandhi, Shaikh Ghulam Rasool among others, urges the committee to ensure that the advertisement is suitably rectified and re-issued with immediate effect.
“Lack of transparency in the appointment process of information commissioners in the CIC would erode public trust in the institution, which plays a pivotal role in the implementation of the RTI Act,” the letter added.