Centre to appoint two Information Commissioners in CIC

New Delhi: Two new Information Commissioners will be appointed in transparency watchdog — Central Information Commission (CIC).

Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh
Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has sought nominations from eligible individuals by early next month.

“Two of the Information Commissioners in the Commission are due to complete their tenure on December 31, 2016 and February 17, 2017 respectively. Therefore, it is proposed to appoint two new Information Commissioners in the Commission in their place,” the DoPT said in a public notice.

The Right to Information (RTI) Act provides that the Information Commissioner shall be person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass-media or administration and governance.

The Commission shall have the Chief Information Commissioner and upto ten Information Commissioners. The CIC, which is mandated to hear appeals and complaints under the RTI Act, is in its full strength now.

Information Commissioners M A Khan Yusufi and Basant Seth will demit office in December this year and in mid-February next year, respectively.

Giving details of eligibility and other conditions, the DoPT said the Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament, Member of the Legislature of any state or union territory, hold any other office of profit, connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.

“It is clarified that cessation/termination of holding of office of profit, pursuing any profession or carrying any business is a condition precedent to the appointment of a person as Information Commissioner,” it said.

The Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Persons fulfilling the criteria and interested for appointment to the post of Information Commissioner may send their particulars to the DoPT by October 3, 2016.

RTI activists commodore Lokesh Batra said that the government should consider the names of applicants from civil societies also.

“The government’s initiative of advertising posts of two Information Commissioners well in time is a welcome step. This time we hope that government will consider the names of applicants from civil society as well”, he said.