Monday, May 29, 2017

Prem Kumar Dhumal boycotts meeting for selection of chief information commissioner

Times of India: Shimla: Monday, May 29, 2017.
Leader of opposition in himachal assembly Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday backed out of the scheduled meeting of selection committee that was to decide on the name of the next chief information commissioner of the state. Dhumal instead sought the attorney general's opinion on the issue of 'person with eminence in public life'. The BJP leader also referred to the 2012 'Union of India v/s Namit Sharma', where the apex court had suggested that the chief information commissioner, both at state- and the Union-level, should be a former member of judiciary.
Sources said before the meeting of the selection committee, Dhumal raised objections on some issues before the committee through a letter. In the letter, he stated that in the last meeting he had sought the opinion of attorney general about the constitutional position of the concerned appointment, which has not been received yet while government has taken the opinion of advocate general and law secretary that is not sufficient regarding the appointment of chief information commissioner.
Sources said though there are many contenders for the post but names of senior IAS officer Narender Chauhan and former chairman of state public service commission K S Tomar have emerged as front runners.
An RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya had recently filed a complaint with the governor, chief justice, chief minister and the leader of opposition, who are part of selection committee, for delay in selecting the state chief information commissioner. In his complainant he said for the past one year, the post was being advertised and contenders had applied but election process did not initiate for many months.