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  • This part file is in continuation of earlier uploaded File No. 4/2/2015-IR and contains information relating to appointment of Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission.

    Disclosure of information is subject to exemptions under section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005.

  • ~.No. 4/2J2015-IRGovernment of India

    Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsDepartment of Personnel and Training

    North Block, New DelhiDated 14thJanuary, 2016

    Meeting Notice

    Meeting of the Search Committee for recommending panel of names to theSelection Committee for appointment of Information Commissioners in theCentral Information Commission has been scheduled to be held under thechairmanship of Cabinet Secretary on 19.01.2016 at 11.00 A.M. in the CabinetSecretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan. Agenda note is enclosed.

    2. Kindly make it convenient to attend the meeting.

    Encl: As above. ~t(lSQ

    (G.S. Arora)Deputy Secretary (IR)

    23092755

    1.~

    Cabinet Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.Additional Principal Secretary to PM, Prime Minister's Office, South Block,New Delhi.Secretary (Personnel), Dlo Personnel & Training, North Block, New Delhi.Secretary (I&B), Room No. 655, 'A' Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New DelhiSecretary, (Expenditure), Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi.Dr. Manoj Panda, (Director), Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi UniversityEnclave, Delhi 110007.

    3.4.5.6.

    Copy to:-PPS to Cabinet Secretary - to provide secretarial assistance to the SearchCommittee.

  • Agenda Note

    Appointment of three Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission.

    Rule Position

    1. As per section 12 (2) of the Act, the Central Information Commission shall consist of

    the Chief Information Commissioner and such number of Central Information Commissioners,

    not exceeding ten, as may be deemed necessary. At present, the Central Information

    Commission has Chief Information Commissioner and 7(seven) Information Commissioners.

    2. Section 12 (3) of the Act stipulates that the Chief Information Commissioner end the

    Information Commissioners shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a

    Committee consisting of the following:-

    (i) the PrimeMinister who shall be the Chairman of the Committee,

    (ii) the Leader of the Opposition in the LokSabha, and

    (iii) a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

    The Act further explains that for the purpose of removal of doubts, it is hereby declared

    that where the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People has not been recognized

    as such, the Leader of the single largest group in opposition of the Government in the House

    of the People shall be deemed to be the Leader of Opposition.

    3. As per Section 12(5) of the RTIAct, 2005, the Chief Information Commissioner and

    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 or administration and governance."

    1

  • Legal Position

    4. Section 12(6) of the RTI Act, 2005 mandates that "The Chief Information

    Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or

    Member of the Legislatureof any State or Union territory, as the case may be, or hold any

    other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any businessor

    pursuingany profession."

    5. As per the past policy, the Chief Information Commissioner/Information Commissioners

    are selected through the process of advertisement, short listing by Search Committee and

    recommendations of Committee chaired by PrimeMinisterand thereafter appointed by the

    President.

    6. It is pertinent to mention that in a Review Petition filed by Union of India against

    Hon'ble Supreme Court judgement dated 13.09.2012 in Namit Sharma case, the Hon'ble

    SupremeCourt vide itsjudgement dated 03.09.2013,inter-alia, gave the following directions:-

    (i) We direct that only persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and

    experience in the fields mentioned in Sections 12 (5) and 15 (5) of the Act be

    considered for appointment as Information Commissioner and Chief Information

    Commissioner.

    (ii) We further direct that persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and

    experience in all the fields mentioned in Section 12 (5) and 15 (5) of the Act,

    namely, law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism,

    mass media or administration and governance, be considered by the Committee

    under Sections 12 (3) and 15 (3) of the Act for appointment as Chief Information

    Commissioner or Information Commissioners.

    (iii) We further direct that the Committees under Section 12 (3) and 15 (3) of the Actwhile making recommendations to the President or to the Governor, as the case

    may be, for appointment of Chief Information Commissioner and Information

    Commissioners must mention against the name of each candidate recommended,

    2

  • the facts to indicate his eminence in public life, his knowledge in the particular field

    and his experience in the particular field and these facts must be accessible to the

    citizens as part of their right to information under the Act after the appointment is

    made.

    Background

    7. In February 2014, the Govt. of India decided to fill up two posts of Information

    Commissionersin the CIC. At that time, the CIC had Chief Information Commissionerand 08

    Information Commissioners.

    8. On 25.02.2014,DoPT invited applications from interested persons for the post of

    Information Commissionersin the CIC, the last date for receipt of applications was 25.03.2014.

    In responseto thiscircular a total number of 293applications were received.

    9. The process of appointment of Information Commissionerswas started but before the

    Selection Committee could meet, one of the Information Commissioners,Shri Rajiv Mathur

    was elevated to the post of CIC on 22.05.2014 making the strength of Information

    Commissionersseven.

    10. A fresh advertisement was issuedon 16.07.2014.It was mentioned that those who had

    applied against advertisement issuedon 25.2.2014need not apply afresh. In response to the

    circular dated 16.7.2014,260 applications were received. Thusa total of 553 applications

    were received for the post of Information Commissioners in response to advertisements

    published on 25.2.2014and 16.7.2014.

    11. Accordingly, all these 553 applications were broadly categorised into 7 categories

    of knowledge and experience, as mentioned above. Few applications which did not fall

    within those 7 categories, had been mentioned in "others" category.

    Detailsof 553applications isat Annexure - I. However, for the sake of categorisation, only the

    main field of knowledge and experience were mentioned, while the additional fields of

    knowledge and experience, if any, were not indicated. Tabulated details on the basisof such

    categorisation isas under:-

    3

  • Category No. of applications

    Law 98

    Science & Technology 64

    Social Service 27

    Management 70

    Journalism 29

    MassMedia 13

    Administration and Governance 233

    Others 19

    Total 553

    12. The Government had approved constitution of Search Committee for shortlisting a

    panel of names for the post of Information Commissioners and Chief Information

    Commissionerin Central Information Commissionas under:-

    (i) Cabinet Secretary Chairman

    (ii) Addl Principal Secretary to PM Member

    (iii) Secretary (Personnel) Member

    (iv) Home Secretary Member

    (v) Secretary D/o Expenditure Member

    (vi) ProfessorRameshChand Member

    Director National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy (NCAP)

    13. In the meanwhile, Shri Rajiv Mathur completed his tenure as Chief Information

    Commissioner and demitted the office on 22.8.2014.TheCentral Information Commission on

    23.8.2014 was without a Chief Information Commissioner and had seven Information

    Commissioners.

    4

  • L -.fI .,......-

    14. Applications were invited from interested personsto fill up the post of Chief Information

    Commissioner through advertisement on 24.10.2014.A total of 203 applications were

    received by the last date i.e. 24.11.2014.

    15. On 6th April. 2015,a writ Petition(C) 3386was filed by R.K.Jain & ors.VIs Unionof Indiabefore HighCourt of Delhi regarding delay in appointment of Chief Information Commissioner

    and Information Commissioner.The case was heard on 9.4.2015, 11.5.2015and 21.5.2015.

    Hon'ble Court on 21.05.2015was informed that appointments are at advance stage of

    finalization, however, Hon'ble Court reserved itsjudgment.

    16. The 553applications for the post of Information Commissionersagainst advertisements

    dated 25.2.2014 and 16.7.2014and 203 applications for the post of Chief Information

    Commissioneragainst the advertisement dated 24.10.2014were considered by the Search

    Committee in its meetings on 16.1.2015,6.2.2015, 27.4.2015 and 14.5.2015.The Search

    Committee prepared a panel of three applicants for the post of Chief Information

    Commissionerand a panel of nine applicants for three posts of Information Commissioners.

    Thesepanels were to be considered by the Selection Committee. TheSelection Committee

    met on 23.5.2015and 1.6.2015,considered the panels suggested by Sear