Heeralal Samariya appointed as chief information commissioner | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Heeralal Samariya appointed as chief information commissioner

Nov 06, 2023 02:20 PM IST

A 1985 batch officer of the Telangana cadre, Heeralal Samariya was appointed as an information commissioner on November 7, 2020

New Delhi: Senior bureaucrat and former information commissioner Heeralal Samariya was sworn in as the chief of the Central Information Commission (CIC) by President Droupadi Murmu on Monday, making him the first person from the Dalit community to hold the post.

President Droupadi Murmu administering the oath to Heeralal Samariya as Chief Information Commissioner on Monday. (PTI)
President Droupadi Murmu administering the oath to Heeralal Samariya as Chief Information Commissioner on Monday. (PTI)

Samariya, 63, takes over as CIC after the retirement of Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha who retired in October. A career bureaucrat, Samariya has held several important posts in the government including the posts of secretary, labour and employment ministry, and as joint secretary in the chemicals and fertilizers ministry.

A 1985 batch officer of the Telangana cadre, he was appointed as an information commissioner on November 7, 2020.

As many as eight information commissioners’ post remain vacant in the CIC, and at present, there are two information commissioners.

Provisions in the RTI Act provides for the Central Information Commission (CIC) at the central level and state information commissions (SICs) in each state to which the Act applies.

Each Commission consists of the CIC and information commissioners, not exceeding ten, as may be deemed necessary, according to the department of personnel and training.

The Act further lays down that the CIC and every information commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters his office or until he becomes 65.

The CIC is appointed by the President, on the recommendation of a committee including the prime minister, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, and a Union cabinet minister nominated by the prime minister.

According to an RTI filed by Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd) 76 applications had been received for the post of the CIC after the central information commission advertised for it on August 7, 2023.

This is the sixth time since 2014 that the post of the CIC had fallen vacant. The Supreme Court on October 30 asked the Centre and the state governments to take steps to fill the post, saying otherwise the 2005 RTI Act will become a “dead letter”.

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