Post of Deputy State Information Commissioner created in Maharashtra
The Government of Maharashtra has created a new post as a help/support for the State Information Commissioner which may act as a second line of authority. This post has been created through a Government Resolution (GR) using the powers under Section 16(6) of RTI Act to help the Information Commissioner fulfill his duties, and clear the pendencies. The Section 16(6) of the RTI Act reads: “The State Government shall provide the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners with such officers and employees as may be necessary for the efficient performance of their functions under this Act, and the salaries and allowances payable to and the terms and conditions of service of the officers and other employees appointed for the purpose of this Act shall be such as may be prescribed.”
The salary grade of the post is Rs 80,000 which is comparable to Rs 90,000 for the State Information Commissioner.
As of now, the State and Central Information Commissioners have no second-in-command and whenever the post of an Information Commissioner falls vacant, there is no one to step into his shoes until fresh selections happen. Whether the post would expedite the process of disposing the appeals or would mere make the process more tedious and cumbersome would be keenly watched. It is only hoped that further posts of Additional/ Joint/ Deputy/ Assistant Commissioners in the Information Commission do not follow.