Former Defense Official Picked to Lead Indian Information Commission

22 December 2015

Former Indian Defense Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur is the government’s choice to be the next Chief Information Commissioner.

Mathur’s selection is a departure from the convention of appointing the most senior Information Commissioner (IC) as the chief commissioner, noted news reports such as one in The Indian Express. It is the first time anyone besides a sitting commissioner has been appointed. He will receive a three-year term.

He was selected by a panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and approved by President Pranab Mukherjee.

“Mathur is not only junior to many, but also a fresh face on the panel,” the Indian Express article commented. Government sources told the Indian Express that “one of the reasons for selecting the new CIC from `outside’ was that the government needed somebody who is there for a sufficient time, so as to avoid frequent selection processes.”

“Mathur’s appointment has reportedly made the information commissioners unhappy,” the paper also said, quoting a commissioner who did not want to be named, as saying: “The reason of motivation for the commissioners has gone now. Why should we work hard if we have no chance of being elevated to the top post?”

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