The meeting for selection of another information commissioner was cancelled on Monday as Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh did not attend it seeking clarifications on the reasons behind the proposal to appointment one more member to the three-member State Information Commission (SIC).
This is for the second time a meeting for the appointment of information commissioner has been cancelled as the Leader of the Opposition did not attend. A three-member committee, comprising Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Singh and Law Minister Raghunath Mohanty, selects information commissioners.
The Leader of the Opposition told this paper that he had written a letter to the Chief Minister on July 28 seeking several clarifications on the decision to appoint one more member to the commission. When no one of the commission is retiring, why is the Chief Minister in so much hurry to appoint another member, he asked.
Singh said the proposal to appoint one more member to the commission should be widely propagated to draw eminent personalities from all walks of life. He said there was no response to his queries.
The SIC is now headed by retired IAS officer Tarun Kanti Mishra, former chief secretary. The other two members are Jagadananda and Pramod Kumar Mohanty. Mohanty is also a retired bureaucrat.
Singh has also opposed the predominance of retired bureaucrats in the commission. He also said there is no need to be so secretive about the persons who are to be appointed to the commission.
Official sources said the SIC can have a maximum of 10 members like the Central Information Commission.