Congress MP objects to Search Committee Recommendations for Appointment of Information Commissioners under RTI Act

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in the lok Sabha

Queency Jain

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has sought withdrawal of all the recommendations made by the Search Committee claiming it to be arbitrary in terms of no justification for shortlisting candidates amongst a bunch of applications.

Chowdhury, who himself is a member of the Search Committee, is empowered to appoint the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (IC) under the Right to Information Act.

Chowdhury has objected to the recommendations stating that while a bunch of applications was received from academicians, scientists, human rights activists, etc., not even a single application was looked into and only the retired civil servants are being selected in an arbitrary manner.

It is contended that no criteria are used by the Committee to select or even reject the candidates which are in clear violation of the Supreme Court’s judgement in Anjali Bhardwaj & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.

Chowdhury pointed out that while 2 persons are shortlisted for the post of CIC, one amongst them was an IFS officer earlier who is exempted from the RTI, Act 2005 by virtue of his post and out of 6 persons shortlisted for the post of IC’s, one amongst them has not even applied for the post.

In conclusion, the Chowdhury demanded recommendations of the Search Committee to be withdrawn, to reconstitute the committee with individuals in the field of law, social service, human rights, etc. and to hold the meeting of the reconstituted committee to shortlist suitable candidates for the post.

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