शुक्रवार, 24 जुलाई 2015

Conspiracy to enforce secrecy in appointment of OIC

State Govt.’s deep-laid conspiracy to enforce secrecy in appointment of Information Commissioners again exposed through RTI

RTI (Right to Information) Act has been enacted to ensure and enforce transparency and accountability in the administration.  Since ten years of its implementation in India, RTI Act has been proved as most powerful law empowering the citizens to behave as master of the country. It has also been powerful tool in the hand of citizens to contain corruption.

But the irony is that from 2005, the State Govt.  under the Chief Minister ship of Sri Nabin Patnaik has always  played foul game  and conspired  to dilute the RTI Act. The state bureaucracy has gone to any extent of scuttling the throat of RTI in the state.  The corrupt bureaucracy has not only tried to divert RTI but also made the Information Commission dysfunctional by appointing their political stooge and corrupt people as Information Commissioners. These Commissioners have not only proved their inefficiency in disposal of the cases but also shown their ignorance of law during hearing of the cases.

Being frustrated over mal-functioning of the Commission and their careless decisions, the RTI Activists and concerned Citizens reacted strongly against the Govt. and   demanded to enforce transparency in the appointment of the commissioners and appoint an efficient and credible people as Information Commissioner. This reaction was also displayed at national level.  While adjudicating a Writ petition, the Supreme Court   gave direction to the State Govts and Central Govt. to enforce transparency in the appointment of the Commission and disclose all the information to the Information-seekers under RTI Act.

As per section 15 (5) of the RTI Act, the State Chief Information Commissioner  and the State  Information Commissioners shall be  persons of eminence  in public life  with  wide knowledge and experience  in law, science and technology,  social service, management,  journalism,  mass media, administration and governance.  A citizen has right to know from the Govt. about eminency   and outstanding knowledge and experience of a person   who got appointment as Information Commissioners.  

But, interestingly, since beginning of the selection for the post of Information Commissioner, the  State Govt.   has been maintaining  utmost secrecy   in matter of disclosure of information about  the  details of candidates  applied  for the said post.

On 25.3.15 Sri Sachikant Pradhan, RTI Applicant had applied to the PIO, Department of Information and Public Relation, Govt. of Odisha seeking details of the applicants, their qualification, experience and expertise.  The PIO denied the information. Then Sri Pradhan made  first appeal to the First Appellate Authority  who disposed the  case on  23.6.15  denying the  information under  section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. This  clause  is not at all warranted  in this case, as these information  is required to be disclosed  under section  4 (1) (c) and (d)  of the RTI Act. Secondly, the name, address, qualification of a person is public information usually suo moto disclosed under section 4 (1) (b) of the RTI Act.  

Now, the question comes, why the Govt. is hesitant to disclose the information about appointment. Because,  there is huge corruption and irregularities in the selection of the candidates for the post without following   any procedure. The Govt.  has given appointment  inefficient  and worthless people  as  Information Commissioner  ignoring  the  efficient, credible and  experience  candidates  who have applied for the said post.  If the information is disclosed under the RTI Act, the Govt. may land in trouble and the true character of Nabin Patnaik Govt. will be exposed. The State Govt.   has appointed  their stooges as Information ommissioners  to protect  their corrupt practice  by favouring  them  in the  complaint  cases filed  for disclosure  of information due to non-disclosure  of  information by the erring PIO.

Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482

Date- 24.07.2015

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