State government against providing allowances to SIC
Danish Raza | February 24, 2011
In yet another example of government’s attempt to sabotage the right to information (RTI) act, Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary has turned down the request of the state information commissioners to avail perks and allowances which at par with information commissioners across the country.
Chief secretary Tabom Bam in a letter to the chief minister has said that the state information commissioners in Arunachal Pradesh were not eligible for the facilities as they “have been appointed directly from the open market and do not have the service background.”
Making a comparison with information commissioners in other states, Bam said, “…appointed from the retired IAS, IPS, IFS and other central government services and therefore these appointees continue to avail they facilities which they had enjoyed while serving the government.”
In response to the chief secretary’s views, the state information commission (SIC) has filed a written complaint to various central and state government departments.
According to the complaint, a copy of which is with Governance Now, the information commission had repeatedly asked the chief secretary to frame the service terms and conditions of the state chief information commissioners and information commissioners. However, the requests were turned down by the CS.
“It is ironical to note that the information commissioners of Arunachal Pradesh are paid regular that too without any clear cut terms and conditions of the service,” said the complaint.
Section 16(5)(a)(b) of the RTI act 2005 talks about framing of terms and conditions of information commissioners.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Arunachal Pradesh information commissioners were appointed by the selection committee headed by chief minister as chairman subject to approval of governor. This is mean to say that the chief secretary could have given proper advice to the selection committee. But there was nothing as such in this case,” said the compliant.
Interestingly, the state has an impeccable record when it comes to the implementation of the transparency act.
Public authorities in the state have implemented 90 per cent of the commission’s orders in favour of information disclosure.
It is the only information commission which has issued an arrest warrants under the RTI Act for non-compliance of its orders.
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