The Indian Express: Chandigarh: Thursday, April 13, 2017.
A RETIRED HCS (Haryana Civil Services) officer Narender Yadav, whose appointment as member of Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) was withheld at the eleventh hour in 2016, has now emerged as one of the top contenders for the post of State Information Commissioner (SIC). Incidentally, the government never announced withdrawal or cancellation of Yadav’s appointment for the post of HPSC member either.
A screening committee of officers headed by Haryana Chief Secretary D S Dhesi on Tuesday discussed the claims of 86 contenders for the post. Now, the committee will send a panel of three contenders to the high-powered selection committee, headed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, to choose one from them. Besides Khattar, Minister Rao Narbir Singh and leader of the opposition in the Assembly, Abhay Singh Chautala, are members of the selection committee.
The screening committee also considered the claims of 78 contenders for the post of State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC). Former DGP Yashpal Singhal is frontrunner for the assignment.
Earlier, Yadav’s name was cleared for the post of HPSC member along with two others. Then, Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on August 8, 2016, administered the oath of office and secrecy to two members, Neeta Khera and Jai Bhagwan Goyal, after the name of third appointee, Yadav, was withheld.
The development, according to sources, was the outcome of a protest by Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma. Sharma had reportedly brought to the party high command’s notice how leaders, who worked against the party in the 2014 Assembly election, were being elevated to constitutional posts.
However, according to sources, the government, in a letter to the Governor on December 16, 2016, did not mention that Yadav’s appointment for the post of HPSC member had been cancelled.
“The state government, in this letter, just mentioned that two out of three persons, whose names were recommended for member HPSC, took oath on August 8, 2016, and one of them did not,” said an official source.
Besides Yadav, Lieutenant General (Retired) JKS Dalal, former dean of Kurukshetra University Madan Mohan Goyal, RTI activist Vijender Malik and social worker Adarsh Bala have also applied for the post of SIC.
Sources said many of the applicants have applied for both posts of SIC as well as SCIC. For the post of SCIC, IAS officer Rajan Gupta, former DGP Yashpal Singhal, retired Punjab IAS officer Suresh Kumar and current SIC Samir Mathur have also applied. The SCIC heads the State Information Commission.