Three Appointments Bring Indian CIC to Full Strength

24 February 2016

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed three retired civil servants to the Central Information Commission.

The three have “spent decades perfecting the art of secrecy,” according to a skeptical article in The Hindustan Times by Aloke Tikku.

The appointments will bring a full complement of members to the commission for the first time 2005, when the Right to Information Act was passed. Nine of the 10 commissioners will be ex-civil servants.

The three commissioners being appointed are:

  • Divya Prakash Sinha, retired Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat, who for years headed the intelligence bureau’s counter-terrorism division.
  • Amitava Bhattacharya, formerly of the Indian Administrative Service, retired Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, and
  • Bimal Jhulka, former Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

According to a study released by the RTI Assessment and Advocacy Group (RAAG) in 2014, nearly 60% of all information commissioners across the country were retired civil servants.

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