Thursday, April 27, 2017

Governor urged to settle issue over chief information commissioner.

The Hindu: Hyderabad: Rahul Devulapalli: Thursday, April 27, 2017.
‘Former Chief Information Commissioner demitted office without handing over the charge’
With no Chief Information Commissioner at the helm of affairs, the lone State Information Commissioner Vijaya Babu has requested the Governor to step in and remove the ambiguity. The former Chief Information Commissioner M. Ratan had demitted office on April 22 without handing over the charge, said Mr. Babu in a letter addressed to the Governor on April 25.
It may recalled that four Information Commissioners Thanthiya Kumari, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Vijaya Nirmala and V. Venkateswarlu had to vacate their position as information commissioners after Supreme Court ruled their appointments as invalid. “It appears that M. Ratan did not obtain any instructions from the government of AP and Telangana States, as he demitted the office without following precedent of law of handing over the administrative files and judicial files to the working commissioner, keeping in view of demitting office on April 22, 2017 and having knowledge that I am the only working State Information Commissioner for the entire AP State. In the above said circumstances I do not know who is the custodian of administrative and judicial files,” he said in the letter, a copy of which is with this newspaper.
Mr. Babu also informed the Governor that he had received a letter from Mr. Ratan regarding the case involving MLA of Mangaligiri, A Rama Krishna Reddy, who had approached the commission with some request after it passed an order. The Information Commissioner said, “In absence of any orders from the government of AP and Telangana State, I can’t act upon the letter of Sri M. Ratan and I can’t suo moto act as administrative head and I can’t hear cases used to be dealt with by Sri M. Ratan,” said Mr. Babu.
As per the rules of the RTI Act, the Commission should have a Chief Information Commissioner supported by not more than ten information commissioners.