HYDERABAD: The state government on Tuesday named state information commissioners for eight of the 10 posts at one go. The selection committee, consisting of chief minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy, deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and leader of the opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, met at the Secretariat and approved the names.
They are: C Madhukar Raj (retired Indian Forest Service officer), S Prabhakar Reddy (retired IPS officer), P Vijaya Babu (Jounralist), Varre Venkateswarlu (lawyer from Nalgonda), Imtiaz Ahmed (retired judge), Tantiya Kumari (social worker), M. Ratan (DG, Vigilance & Enforcement) and M Vijaya Nirmala (Educationist).
The government has sent the list to governor ESL Narasimhan for his assent.
Chandrababu Naidu went to the Secretariat at 4.40 pm and was closeted with the chief minsiter for about one hour before clearing the names. The posts have been lying vacant since November 17, 2010 which has led to an increase in the pendency of cases.
The High Court had directed the state government to appoint commissioners to the State Information Commission within four weeks, ie by Jan first week. Another affidavit was filed later prompting the court to order that the appointments be completed by February 28.
Interestingly, the High Courts of Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand had already passed judgments in the past one year seeking immediate appointment of information commissioners in their respective states.
The Andhra Pradesh government, however, kept the appointments on hold.
The High Court orders came after an RTI activist, G Bhargavi, had filed a petition.
After the inception of right to information (RTI), former chief minister Y Rajasekhara Reddy had appointed three of the 10 information commissioners whose term expired long ago.