WHAT BASIS FOR INFO COMMISSIONERS APPOINTMENT IN TAMIL NADU?
It is good that the Tamil Nadu government has at last appointed five new information commissioners . Until now, there have been one chief information commissioner and only one information commissioner in Tamil Nadu , resulting in huge backlog of work and several representations to the information commissioner from RTI activists remaining unanswered.
In the recent interactive meeting of RTI activists organized by Nandini Voice for Deprived, a Chennai based NGO , the importance of filling up the posts of information commissioners was stressed repeatedly and the above decision of the Tamil Nadu government would certainly satisfy the RTI activists. This is a long pending matter.
However, it is not clear about the selection procedure adopted by government of Tamil Nadu to fill these vacancies. It is necessary for the Tamil Nadu government to explain the procedure adopted , so that there would not be an impression that the selections have been made in an arbitrary manner.
RTI Act is a very important tool available to the common man to get vital information from the government agencies. There have been many complaints in recent times that several government departments either do not respond to the RTI queries or direct the question to some other departments thus wasting time or provide incomplete details. The RTI activists have no alternative other than approaching the information commissioners to redress their grievances. Under the circumstances, the post of information commissioners have become very crucial and they should enjoy high level of public confidence.
It is high time that proper and transparent guidelines for the selection of information commissioners should be adopted. One would hope that Tamil Nadu government has adopted such procedure in appointing the five information commissioners and it is necessary that the Tamil Nadu government would explain the procedure adopted to the public.
Nandini Voice for the Deprived