New Delhi: The Centre has invited applications for appointment on the post of Chief Information Commissioner and four Information Commissioners in the transparency watchdog CIC, according to a Personnel Ministry order. It is proposed to appoint the Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission (CIC) to succeed the incumbent on completion of the tenure likely on January 11, 2020, it said.
Sudhir Bhargava is the Chief Information Commissioner. Besides the top post in the CIC, the government has also decided to fill the four vacant posts of Information Commissioners.
Currently, the Commission has six Information Commissioners against a sanctioned strength of 10. RTI activists have been demanding the government to fill the vacant posts in the transparency watchdog citing large pendency of cases.
As many as 33,487 second appeals/complaints were pending in the CIC as on November 28, 2019, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh had said recently in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The RTI Act provides that the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be a 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.
They shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory, as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession, the Personnel Ministry said in the order. “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 Chief Information Commissioner,” it said, adding that “persons who have attained the age of 65 years shall not be eligible for appointment”.
The salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be as per Right to Information Rules, 2019, the order said.