553 applicants for the post of information commissioners
As per the reply provided by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), applications have been received from 553 persons who have expressed interest in the post of Information Commissioner which is lying vacant in the Central Information Commission (CIC). The applicants include the government officers, former defence personnel, activists, lawyers, media personnel and other citizens.
Two posts were vacant when they were initially advertised in February 2014 during the regime of the erstwhile UPA government and the process of selection was started again by the NDA government in July by calling for application for the post which had fallen vacant.
Some of the prominent government servants whose names appear in the list are:
· former DoPT Secretary- Dr Shyamal Kumar Sarkar,
· former I&B secretary U K Varma,
· former textile secretary Zohra Chatterjee,
· former defence secretary Sangita Gairola,
· former secretary in social justice and empowerment ministry Stuti Narain Kacker,
· former road secretary Brahm Dutt,
· shipping secretary Vishwapati Trivedi,
· DD DG (news) Archana Dutta
· railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar, railway board member (mechanical) Alok Johri,
· former secretary in HRD Ashok Thakur,
· former CRPF DG Vikram Srivastava
· diplomats like Nagesha Rao Parthasarthy, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty and Ashok Kumar Attri.
· Defence personnel include Lt Gen (retd) Anil Chait, and Lt Gen (retd) N C Marwah,
The applicants also include RTI activists Girish Mittal and Varun Arya amongst others.
RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra had filed an RTI application to know about the details of applications received by the DoPT for the post of Information Commissioner in the CIC. With the end of term of Mr. Rajiv Mathur, the post of the Chief Information Commissioner at the CIC is lying vacant since August 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. As per the RTI Act, 2005 the CIC can have a chief information commissioner and upto 10 inforamtion commissioners while only seven are working at present.