The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed selection panel decided against appointing Delhi top cop Bhim Sain Bassi as information commissioner, after the Congress representative refused to support it.
The decision comes when the 1977-batch IPS officer is under attack for the Delhi Police’s handling of the JNU protests.
Bassi’s name was on the shortlist of candidates put before the committee but the government backed out after Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge put his foot down, sources told HT.
The senior Congress leader came prepared with material about controversies surrounding Bassi before he became the police commissioner too.
Ironically, it was the Congress-led UPA government that appointed Bassi as Delhi police commissioner.
Bassi last year applied for the posts of chief information commissioner as well as information commissioner. The Centre overlooked his claim to the CIC’s post, but was open to appointing him as information commissioner.
The police commissioner who retires on February 29 put up a brave face. “I am happy and have no issues with that (the decision). I am not disappointed…It doesn’t affect me,” he said.
The new job would have elevated the commerce-cum-law graduate to a status equal to that of a high court judge under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj was among the many who campaigned against elevating Bassi to the information watchdog.
“To put it mildly, his record in upholding this constitutional right (to information) doesn’t inspire much confidence,” she said.