‘Appointing RTI chief without consulting opposition is illegal’


Chennai : Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu and AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa said here Wednesday that the appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) without consulting her was illegal.

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Charging the government with not providing her the requisite information on the appointment of the new CIC, Jayalalithaa said Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi cannot take her for granted and expect her to sign on the dotted line.

Responding to Karunanidhi’s charge that she did not cooperate on the issue of selecting the new CIC, Jayalalithaa said: “As the Leader of Opposition is one of the members of the CIC selection committee, I was given the invitation to attend the meeting. And I decided to attend the same.”

She said some social organisations and Right to Information (RTI) activists met her and complained that the functioning of the Information Commissioner’s Office is bad and it takes a long time to settle a case.

She said they also requested her to see that the new CIC is selected in a transparent manner.

According to her, the government declined to provide her the bio-data of the candidates who had applied for the post on the ground that it would be placed before the panel at the Aug 23 meeting.

A reply was sent to that letter stating that when the information is available to the chief minister and also to his ministerial colleague in the panel, denying that to her is discriminatory.

“In 2005, no member of the selection panel had asked for the bio-data prior to the meeting and had such a request been made – the same would have been provided,” she said.

The term of current CIC R. Ramakrishnan gets over at the end of this month.