India

"Skydropped": Congress Dissents On Top RTI Watchdog Appointments

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha is all set to become new Chief Information Commissioner, say sources.

Highlights

  • The appointments have set up a new political flashpoint
  • Panel headed by PM selects members to top RTI watchdog
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan is expected to issue a notification soon, sources said
New Delhi:

The government's decision to appoint new Information Commissioners opposed by the Congress in a dissent note has set up a new political flashpoint.

Retired Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha is all set to become the new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India, government sources have told. Journalist Uday Mahurkar is likely to be named an Information Commissioner, they said, adding that the official process towards these appointments has been initiated.

Rashtrapati Bhavan is expected to issue a notification soon, the sources said, following which a Gazette Notification will be published by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) announcing the appointments.

A panel headed by the Prime Minister selects members to the top Right to Information (RTI) watchdog.

YK Sinha, a former High Commissioner to UK and Sri Lanka, is expected to have a tenure till October 2023. He is now one of the five Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission, the top RTI body.

The Congress party has expressed its dissent over what it calls the "skydropping" of Uday Mahurkar.

Party sources said they were "appalled" that the selection committee had not given any basis for why these particular candidates were short-listed out of the 139 who applied for the CIC's post and the 355 who applied for the Information Commissioners' posts. The sources also alleged that Mr Mahurkar had not even applied for the position.

"He (Mr Mahurkar) has been skydropped...(He) was an open supporter of the ruling party and its ideology," Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who leads the party in the Lok Sabha, told.

Mr Sinha, the Congress leader said, "lacks on-ground domestic experience and Vanjana Sarna is the senior Information Commissioner in the commission".