KOLKATA: Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has penned a letter to President Draupadi Murmu, raising concerns about the selection process for the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) on Monday.
Chowdhury alleged that he was completely left in the dark regarding the selection meeting. In his letter, he expressed his disappointment, stating that “all democratic norms, customs, and procedures were thrown to the wind in the matter of selecting the Central Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners.”
Chowdhury then went on to highlight that he was not informed about the meeting that transpired at the Prime Minister’s residence on November 3 at 6 pm. During this meeting, only PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were present.
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Despite being a member of the selection committee, Chowdhury was not present when the names of the candidates were announced, notified, and subsequently sworn into office. This, in his view, indicates that “the entire selection exercise was pre-determined.”
The CIC is appointed by the President, based on the recommendations of a committee comprising the Prime Minister, the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the PM.
The tenure of the former CIC, YK Sinha, ended on October 3, and the terms of the remaining three information commissioners concluded on Monday.
As per the RTI Act of 2005, the CIC consists of the Chief Information Commissioner and a maximum of 10 Central Information Commissioners, as deemed necessary.
Heeralal Samariya was sworn in as the Chief of the CIC on Monday, marking the first time a Dalit has held this position.