The number of appeals pending with the state information commission (SIC) has crossed the 17,000 mark by the end of September. Reason: Thanks to the procedural delay, the posts of information commissioner are vacant in three regions in the state for more than a month now.
Chief information commissioner (CIC) of the state, Vilas Patil, retired in July. The information commissioner for Mumbai, Ramanand Tiwari, was suspended in March, on account of his alleged involvement in the Adarsh society scam.
The information commissioner for Konkan division, Navin Kumar, retired in August.
“Had the information commissioners been appointed immediately, the backlog wouldn’t have increased,” said Vilas Patil.
As per the procedure, the proposal of the applicants — prepared by the general administration department (GAD) — is submitted to a three-member committee. The committee, which decides on the information commissioner, comprises the chief minister, deputy chief minister and opposition leader. The department, however, has neither sent any proposal to the committee nor has it scheduled any meeting.
Nandkumar Jantre, secretary, GAD of the state government, said: “The proposal is being prepared. It will be submitted in a day or two. We are aware of the urgency of the matter.”
On the reason behind the delay, Jantre said, “The technical glitches in the appointment process were cleared by the law and judiciary department only 10 days ago. Owing to the public holidays last week, the proposal got delayed.”
“Generally, around 40-70 applications are prepared for these posts. We are sorting the applications. We will compile the list and prepare the proposal,” said an official from the GAD department requesting anonymity.