Information panel lays out Code of Ethics | india | Hindustan Times
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Information panel lays out Code of Ethics

india Updated: Jun 01, 2009 00:46 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
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People in positions of power to determine your access to information have their own version of the Ten Commandments plus one.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has laid out a Code of Ethics for itself to guide the conduct of the eight information commissioners.

But the commission has sidestepped demands that the transparency watchdogs voluntarily declare their assets.

Chief Information Commission Wajahat Habibullah has admitted in the past that there was no unanimity within thecommission on voluntary disclosure of assets.

Besides a bar on contesting election to any office excluding an academic orcultural institution, the code explicitly prohibits information commissioners from giving interviews on their decisions.

The commission decided against restricting commissioners from closely working with non-governmental bodies as proposed initially. But it does ask commissioners to “practice a degree of discretion in public” consistent with the dignity of his office.

The CIC’s code is inspired by the resolution adopted by the judges of Supreme Court, twelve years in May 1997, entitled Restatement of Values of Judicial Life. The Supreme Court, however, had recently told an RTI applicant that its code was voluntary and out of the purview of the information law.