Three New Commissioners Appointed to CIC in India

2 March 2012

 Three new information commissioners were sworn in on Feb. 28 in New Delhi.

 Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Rajiv Mathur is one of the new commissioners.

Also added were the former environment secretary Vijai Sharma, recently working as an expert member at the National Green Tribunal and retired Syndicate Bank chairman and managing director Basant Seth.

They were selected by a panel chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which included law minister Salman Khurshid and leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj.

 One media account, DNAIndia.com, saw some irony in Mathur’s selection.

While government officials believe, increased strength of information commissioners will strengthen the effectiveness of the RTI regime, Mathur’s appointment could eyebrows as was someone who worked in complete secrecy will now be sitting at the temple of RTI in a bid to provide relief to information seekers. IB is also an organisation that has been exempted from providing information under the RTI Act.

Under the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission is mandated to have a chief information commissioner and 10 central information commissioners. With the new additions, there are eight commissioners. Commissioners serve for a period of five years or to age sixty-five.

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