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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Who’s who line up for info panel posts

Sravsni Sarkar, Hindustantimes.com  Bhopal, August 28, 2013
First Published: 10:09 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 10:17 IST(28/8/2013)

The list almost looks like a compilation of who’s who in the state.

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In-service and retired IAS, IPS and IFS officers, senior members of judiciary, lawyers, office bearers of different commissions, industrialists, social workers and even a good sprinkle of media persons have offered their candidature to become chief information commissioner (CIC) and information commissioners (ICs) in the state.

However, more than two months after they applied for the posts (one CIC and ten ICs), these bigwigs are still awaiting any further action on part of the state government to fill up the posts with the State Information Commission.

And now with the model code of conduct for the state assembly polls looming, the completion of the appointment process in time looks somewhat uncertain. The code of conduct is likely to be imposed any time after September 15.

RTI activists feel that the state government is deliberately delaying the process so that the SIC remains defunct till the assembly polls are over and thus sensitive information is put on hold.

The state government had issued an advertisement on June 13 inviting applications for posts on the SIC and asked eligible candidates to apply by June 25. In the duration, 54 persons applied for the post of CIC while 180 applications were received for the ten posts of information commissions.

Many of the candidates have applied for both the posts.

However, since collecting the applications, the state general administration department (GAD) has done little about the appointment process, despite fact that the MP high court had on January 23 this year directed the state government to fill up the posts within three weeks.

“First the government took up the excuse of a Supreme Court directive regarding eligibility criteria for the posts and when the SC made it clear that the order should not stop filling up of the posts, it is now lingering on the process without any reason,” RTI activist Ajay Dubey has charged.

The minister for GAD KL Agrawal remained unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, the list of applicants for the posts, obtained through Right to Information (RTI) makes a very interesting reading.

Right from the former director general of police to DG (Lokayukta) to former principal secretary the GAD and from district judges of various districts to legal advisor to governor of MP and from leading industrialist to four fresh graduate girls, many persons have considered themselves suitable for the sensitive posts on the information commission.

Activist Ajay Dubey, who has obtained the list has said that many of the applicants failed to implement RTI Act in the departments they headed and some even violated its provision.

He said that the complete list of the applicants would be put up on the website - soochnakaadhikar. com and the facebook page by same name.

“We would ask the citizens to give their feedback on the suitability of these applicants for the posts,” he said.


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