A right move by Goa government
The Goa Government has rightly decided not to give an extension to the Goa State Chief Information Commissioner Leena Mehendale who is retiring on January 31st. As Section 16(1) the Right to Information Act prohibits the Chief Information Commissioner from holding office after attaining the age of 65, any extension to Leena Mehendale would have been illegal and contrary to law.
It is however surprising that the very tainted former Administrator of Communidade of Bardez Irene Sequeira has been appointed as Secretary of the State Information Commission which is a vital and sensitive post. Irene Sequeira is a co-accused along with Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar in the Serula Communidade land grab case with an F.I.R of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code registered against her and currently being probed by the Crime Branch.
The Government must expedite on a priority the appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner and also the long overdue post of State Information Commissioner lying vacant since 2010. The selection process must be in a very transparent manner and strictly in accordance with law. There is a need of independent minded persons of eminence who would not succumb to political pulls and pressures to be selected to ensure the proper implementation of the Right to Information Act which the government has currently conveniently scuttled.