Indian Government Names Singh as CIC Chairman

9 June 2015

The Modi government June 8 appointed Information Commissioner Vijai Singh as the Chief Information Commissioner, ending a nine-month leadership vacancy at the Central Information Commission.

The appointments to CIC are for five years or until the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Sharma, a who has been serving as an information commissioner since 2012, will serve a term of less than six months retiring in December.

Right to information activists were wondering “why the government delayed his appointment by advertising the post of CIC if they had to anyway appoint him,” according to an article in The Hindu.

“He was the seniormost IC. The government could have just followed the practice of elevating the seniormost IC as CIC when the post fell vacant in August 2014. Why wait 10 months,”activist Anjali Bhardwaj was quoted as saying.

The government also appointed former secretary of social justice and empowerment Sudhir Bhargava as an additional information commissioner, according the Livemint.

The government still has several other spots to fill on the commission to bring it to the legal membership of 10.

The CIC has been without a chief since August 2014, when chief information commissioner Rajiv Mathur retired.

At the same time, former chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, K.V. Chowdary, was named as the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

When asked about delay in filing the vacancies, a minister attributed it to the “new transparent process” of selection adopted by the government.

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