Mehbooba to participate in SIC meet, with rider
Srinagar, Jan 15: With empowered committee for nominating the body of State Information Commission to meet on January 27, the opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti Saturday set conditions for her participation in the scheduled deliberations.
“I will participate in the meeting but it (selection process) should not be a fixed thing. Government had earlier leaked some names to media for selecting the body of the Commission. It should not happen again,” Mehbooba, who is one of the three members of the selection panel, told Greater Kashmir.
The selection panel is headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who has nominated deputy CM Tara Chand as another member of the body.
“I will go with an open mind. The selection process should be open and transparent,” Mehbooba said.
The state government has been facing severe criticism from several RTI bodies over delay in constituting the State Information Commission after Right to Information Act (2005) was amended and passed by the state legislature on 20 March 2009, bringing it at par with the Central law.
Under the new Act, the state requires to appoint State Chief Information Commissioner and two Information Commissioners for making the Act fully functional. The incapacitated State Information Commission is presently housed in a rented building at Trikutra Nagar in Jammu and in old Assembly complex here.
Though government has already posted a Secretary and other supporting staff for yet-to-be-constituted Commission besides designating Public Information Officers and Assistant PIOs in almost all the departments, the Commission is yet to take off formally in the absence of the key heads.
In absence of the second appellate – the CIC– there is presently no redressal mechanism available to the complainants, if they fail to get satisfactory response from the PIOs.
Last year, the Government had to postpone twice the meetings convened to appoint the CIC and ICs as Mehbooba didn’t attend them. An official in the General Administrative Department, which would be providing the services to the Commission, confirmed that the empowered committee was meeting on January 27.
The National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have stated that preference should be given to state subjects for selecting the SIC body.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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