Saturday, July 17, 2010

Right to information under challenge

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Right to information is under challenge in the State owing to reluctance of officials to part with information and the failure of the State Information Commission to decide and enforce its orders in many cases. Cases have been piling up before Commission.

Now, it is facing the prospect of politicisation also.

The Committee for selection of State Information Commissioners recently recommended politician Sony B. Thengamom and former IAS Officer M.N. Gunavardhanan to the Governor for appointment as members of the Commission. Mr. Thengamom is the Kollam district secretary of the CPI and member of its State Council. (The Selection Committee comprised Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan, Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The matter is pending before the Governor.)

The Right to Information Act specifies that the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.

It also mandates that they shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union territory, as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession

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