Files related to former Chief Information Commissioner missing at CIC
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Inforamtion (RTI) Act, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has admitted that records related to former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah were not traceable. The deputy secretary at CIC, Sushil Kumar, informed the RTI applicant Lokesh Batra that "The concerned file containing the communication relating to then Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah regarding his resignation are not readily traceable though efforts have been made. The information will be provided as and when available,"
The reply is seen as an embarrassment for the CIC and raises questions about the record keeping at the watchdog of transparency. Just as the Information Commission was being formed in the Jammu and Kashmir, the then Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah had resigned in October 2009 and was expected to take over as the Chief Information Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir. It was reported that he withdrew his resignation on the advice of the law ministry as without a chief, the CIC’s orders would be open to challenge by the courts.
The file notings related to appointment of new chief information commissioner show that TY Das, Secretary CIC, had written to the Central Government "In the absence of the Chief Information Commissioner, the Commission will be left with no administrative head having the required administrative and financial powers." After the term of the last Chief Information Commissioner Rajiv Mathur ended on August 22, 2014, no Chief Information Commissioner has been appointed.