Karnataka appoints an information commissioner for the state information commission
The state government of Karnatka has appointed Shankar R Patil, a 1978 batch retired Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) official, as the Information Commissioner at the Karnataka State Information Commission (SIC). Patil hails from Bidar and has served for nearly 35 years in the KAS before being appointed as the Inforamtion Commissioner.
Two posts of Information Commissioner were lying vacant for the last 18 months in the SIC. It has been learnt that the Governor Vajubhai Vala has also approved the name of L Krishna Murthy, a social worker and RTI activist, for the second post though the appointment letter is yet to be issued.
Vikram Simha, trustee, Mahiti Hakku Adhyayana Kendra, had earlier criticised the appointments being made to the SIC alleging that appointments to be made to the commission are supposed to be ‘persons of eminence’, but only administrative people are being appointed to the posts. Under the banner of newly formed organisation Paradarshikate (Transparency), RTI activists had complained to the Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala that the first hearing of the appeal filed before the SIC was taken up after a lapse of eight months to one year. The signatories to the letter included former registrar of the Karnataka State Law University K.S. Bagale. The letter also alleged that the Inforamtion Commissioners were not following the procedures for hearing the complaints/ appeals.