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Govt clueless about meeting to pick chief information commissioner

The government is unaware of who attended the meeting to select the chief information commissioner, an appointment that has been pending for the last seven months.

In response to an RTI query, the government admitted that it had not maintained any minutes of a meeting convened to pick the CIC and so did not know who attended the meeting. Slamming the "deliberate delay'', activists said this was an attempt to weaken the legislation and its implementation.

The National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI) condemned the delay in appointment of the CIC, dilution of the Lokpal Act and Whistleblowers Protection Act and the lack of a legislative framework for grievance redress.

NCPRI also objected to the recent order of the CIC in which it closed the case related to non-compliance with the RTI Act by political parties after noting that it did not have the requisite powers to ensure compliance with its orders.

At present, more than 13,000 appeals and complaints related to these public authorities are pending before the chief's bench.

Activist Aruna Roy alleged that the delay in appointing the chief was deliberate. "This is the most closed government I have seen since I was an intelligent participant in public life. The present government does not record minutes of a meeting. If we are going to sidestep accountability, it is an undemocratic way of working,'' she said.

NCPRI's Anjali Bhardwaj said the appointment process was completely opaque and in violation of the Supreme Court's orders for the naming of information commissioners. She also said the delay in appointment of the chief was a clear attempt by the government to weaken the institution of the Central Information Commission.

"The transparent, accountable and efficient governance promised in the BJP manifesto will come to pass only if the RTI Act is implemented properly... a tool like the RTI Act is the very basis of democracy and the (Narendra) Modi government should use (these) to deliver clean and efficient governance to people," former CIC Wajahat Habibullah said.  Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-clueless-about-meeting-to-pick-chief-information-commissioner/articleshow/46669606.cms

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DATED: Tuesday, 05 May 2015 09:55
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