The much-delayed appointment for the post of state chief information commissioner (SCIC) could likely happen after February 17.
Nandkumar Jantre, secretary, general administrative department (GAD), said: “The chief minister is aware of the urgency of the matter. The announcement will be made soon after February 17.”
Though the process is almost complete, the appointment is stuck owing to the model code of conduct, said senior authorities from the GAD.
Three posts in the state information commission office have been vacant since August 2011. While Konkan division chief information commissioner, Navin Kumar, retired in August, SCIC Vilas Patil retired in July. The post of state information commissioner (SIC) for Greater Mumbai region too is vacant since the suspension of Ramanand Tiwari in 2011 owing to his alleged involvement in the Adarsh society scam. Moreover, in-charge of state information commission of Pune division, Vijay Kuvalekar, will retire on February 7, leaving four coveted posts vacant. All the posts are likely to be filled next month.
“More than 19,600 appeals in the state are pending. Every month, at least 2,500 applications are received. If each SIC disposes of 250 cases every month, 1,000 cases will be disposed of per month. Since, four SICs are sharing the burden of eight offices, this will not be of much help,” said Kuvalekar.
More than 3,000 appeals are pending at Mumbai Headquarters, Pune division and Aurangabad each. “Appeals are pending for second hearing since 2010 as information commissioners are not available,” said Krishna Rao, RTI activist.