Mallikajun Kharge to be a part of the selection panel for CIC
The government has constituted a panel comprising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikajun Kharge and Finance & Defence Minister Arun Jaitley for the selection of the Chief Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission (CIC).
Under the RTI Act, a three-member panel headed by the Prime Minister and including the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and a cabinet minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister does the selection. The Act clarifies that where the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People has not been recognised as such, the Leader of the single largest group in opposition of the Government in the House of the People shall be deemed to be the Leader of Opposition.
The department of personnel and training (DoPT) had sought a clarification regarding the status of "leader of opposition" from the Lok Sabha secretariat which informed that as per the information received from the party, Mallikarjun Kharge is the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha which is the single largest party in opposition in Lok Sabha. The term single largest group in opposition is not defined in the RTI Act, Acts pertaining to functioning of MPs and Parliament or compilations of "Directions by the Speaker of Lok Sabha". Therefore, the DoPT asked the law ministry whether the leader of single largest party can be treated as leader of single largest group in the Lok Sabha for the purpose of the RTI Act. In its reply, the law ministry replied that “Our answer to the query is in the affirmative. We, however, clarify that this answer is only for the limited purpose of the RTI Act [explanation below Section 12(3)] and not for any other purpose.”
The posts of Information Commissioners have been lying vacant in the CIC for long. The Government has asked for applications for the post of Chief Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission (CIC) which has been lying vacant for long. Link - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/government-calls-application-post-chief-informatio