KOCHI: Several key government-nominated posts will be lying vacant for three-six months, crippling the functioning of important institutions like the Kerala State Information Commission (KSIC), as the code of conduct kicked in on Friday following announcement of the Assembly election.
Though the UDF Government in a last-minute move proposed the names of six persons, including Winson M Paul, as the next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), the Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered that status quo be maintained on the appointments for two weeks.
“Since the Election Commission has announced the Assembly elections, the appointments can only be made by the new government. It will take anything between three-six months for the new appointments to take place,” said M T Thomas, member of the Kerala unit of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI). The new appointments will not come into place even if the High Court gives approval as the election code has come into effect,” he said.
Currently, four out of the six posts are lying vacant at the KSIC. Meanwhile, Chief Information Commissioner Siby Mathews and another member will retire on April 23. The result will be that Right to Information (RTI) applications will meet a dead-end after April 23, at least for three months.
According to people in the know, certain posts are lying vacant in the Kerala State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission and the Kerala Administrative Tribunal also, where new appointments cannot be made owing to the election code.