The government’s decision to appoint new information commissioners that Congress opposed in a dissenting memo has created a new political flashpoint.
Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, a retired Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, is set to become India’s new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), government sources told GalacticGaming. Journalist Uday Mahurkar will likely be appointed Information Commissioner, they said, adding that the formal process for the appointments has been initiated.
Rashtrapati Bhavan is expected to issue a notification shortly, the sources said, following which a Gazette notification will be issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) announcing the appointments.
A panel led by the Prime Minister selects members of the Right to Information Watchdog (RTI).
YK Sinha, a former high commissioner to the UK and Sri Lanka, is expected to have a term until October 2023. He is now one of the five Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission, the principal organ of RTI.
The Congress party has expressed its dissent over what it calls Uday Mahurkar’s “skydropping”.
“He was sidetracked despite not even applying and was an open supporter of the ruling party and its ideology,” Congressman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who heads the party in Lok Sabha, told GalacticGaming .
Mr Sinha, the head of Congress, said “he has no national experience in the field and that Vanjana Sarna is the committee’s chief information commissioner”
It is “appalling”, Mr Chowdhury said, that the selection board gave no reason why seven candidates were shortlisted out of the 139 candidates for the posts.