8 months on, SIC continues to remain headless

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

The governor's administration has delayed filling up the position of the chief information commissioner in the state information commission (SIC).

The SIC continues to be headless for the past eight monthsdespite the governor's administration last year amending the right toinformation Act-2009 to pave way for appointment of its head and members duringthe governor's or the president's rule in the state.

Following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition governmentin June 2018, the state came under governor's rule and the then chiefinformation commissioner Khurshid A Ganai was appointed as an advisor to thegovernor.

Ganai resigned as the CIC on June 29 to take over asadvisor, leaving the SIC headless. Since then, the governor's administrationhas failed to appoint the new CIC.

As per the amended RTI Act, "CIC and informationcommissioners shall be appointed by the governor on the recommendations of aselection committee comprising his advisors (one of whom shall be nominated aschairperson of the committee) and the chief secretary (member secretary)."

The amendments made in the Act "are applicable only when thestate is under the governor's or the president's rule."

Prior to the amendments, the CIC and the informationcommissioners were appointed by the governor on recommendations of a committeecomprising leader of the opposition in the legislative assembly and a cabinetminister to be nominated by the chief minister.

The commission, as per the RTI Act-2009, shall consist oftwo information commissioners and the CIC.

At present, there is only one state informationcommissioner.

Earlier this month, governor Satya Pal Malik appointedMuneer Ahmad Khan, additional director general of police (law and order), asinformation commissioner in the SIC.

"In exercise of the powers vested in me under Section 12(3)of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009, I Satya Pal Malik,appoint Muneer Khan, IPS, as the state information commissioner in the stateinformation commission," read an order, issued by the general administrationdepartment.

Muneer Khan will be retiring in June this year.

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