Information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi’s move to put his asset details in the public domain hasn’t found favour with his colleagues.
In an apparent rejection of Gandhi’s proposal, the Central Information Commissioner has decided not to put his asset statement on the commission’s website, for now.
Gandhi had in November submitted details of his assets, worth Rs 5.4 crore, to the Central Information Commissioner and had asked it be put on the commission’s website. “I’ve requested CIC Wajahat Habibullah to post the list of assets of all information commissioners on the website,” Gandhi had told HT.
The Central Information Commission, where majority of members are retired bureaucrats, however, opted for a longer route to decide the matter. “We’ve to take into account the procedure for submission of declaration of property by other such commissions before taking a final decision,” Habibullah told HT.
The rules don’t require members of commissions set up by the Centre to declare assets.
Gandhi’s proposal was discussed at a recent meeting, but most members weren’t in favour of declaring assets on the website.”There wasn’t much opposition to declaration of assets. But, what the commissioners didn’t like was providing the information on the website,” said a commission official, who didn’t want to be named.
Magsaysay award winner and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal termed the move as a lost opportunity. “If the assets’ statements would have been put on the website, it would have put pressure on other government departments to do the same,” he said.