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Selection Committee for CIC & SIC a farce: RTI Activist

Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today alleged that the recently appointed three member pre-selection committee appointed to scrutinize applications received for the post of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and State Information Commissioner(SIC) was a mere farce and an eye-wash as all the three officers on the committee are known to be proven Yes men of the Chief Minister. The committee headed by Chief Secretary B. Vijayan comprises of PWD Secretary R.K.Verma and Information Secretary P.Krishnamurthy who is also Secretary to the Chief Minister.

In order not to repeat the earlier skewed and failed selection fiasco of Pandurang Nadkarni and Pradeep Padwal, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has suggested that the pre-selection committee should now instead be headed by a retired High Court Judge and comprising of President of the RTI Forum, the Vice – Chancellor of the

Adv. Rodrigues has also demanded that all the candidates should be interviewed by the pre-selection committee in public view to give citizens and media an opportunity to hear the views and commitment of the candidates aspiring to be Information Commissioners.

Adv. Rodrigues has stated that this committee could shortlist three names each for the post of Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner, which should be made public along with the minutes of the meeting at which the short listing is done.           

Stating that the names of the short-listed candidates should be circulated in public domain so that people of Goa could have an opportunity to judge their to-be Information Commissioners, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that citizens should also be allowed to give their feedback and views to the pre-selection committee.

Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the pre-selection committee could then recommend to the Government these three names each for the post of Chief Information Commissioner and State Informationon Commissioner and that based on these inputs, the final decision to select the CIC and SIC could be taken by the committee mandated as per the RTI Act consisting of the Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition and one other minister

Lamenting that the post of Information Commissioners being distinguished positions are much sought for as retirement postings, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the State Information Commission cannot be converted into a Senior citizen club.

Adv. Rodrigues has also stated that Information Commissioners cannot be selected for patronage and as a reward for the favours they have put earlier in towing the line of their political masters. 

Adv. Rodrigues has further stated that Information Commissioners being very vital positions, only persons with eminence in public life have to be selected through a very fair, objective and extremely transparent process.

Pointing out that the Information Commissioners have to oversee and ensure transparency in the working of the government, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has suggested that it would be appropriate not to appoint retired government bureaucrats who have served in the State of Goa.

Demanding that only Goans be selected to the posts of CIC and SIC, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the Information Commissioners cannot be arbitrarily picked up and that the selection has to be through a proper laid down procedure.

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