AP governor refuses assent on IC nominations

Amidst serious questions on the quality and political connections of the eight information commissioners appointed by the state government, Andra Pradesh governor ESL Narasimhan on Tuesday returned the file on their appointment to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

The governor’s move comes on the day when RTI activists were holding a public ballot in Hyderabad against the nominations and follows similar ballots in other parts of the state.
Samachara Hakku Prachara Ikya Vedika, which is spearheading  the campaign against IC nominees with political connections, has plans to gather support of one lakh persons against the state government.

The Vedika staged a dharna at Indira Park during the week end protesting against alleged violation of all norms and spirit of the Right to Information Act by the Government of Andhra Pradesh while selecting the ICs.

Former Union Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah, while extending support to the movement, lamented that the Government of Andhra Pradesh is acting against the spirit of the Right to Information Act.

While the Act proposes to select distinguished public personalities in various sections of the society, he alleged that the government’s selection was on simple political considerations.

C Madhukar Raj, IFS (Retd), S Prabhakar Reddy, IPS (Retd), P Vijaya Babu, Editor of ‘Andhra Prabha’—a  Telugu daily, Varre Venkateswarlu, social worker, Lam Tantiya Kumari, advocate (daughter of former deputy chief minister Koneru Ranga Rao), S Imtiaz Ahmed, retired civil judge, M Vijaya Nirmala, academician and M Ratan, the Director General of Police (Vigilance and Enforcement) had been the government nominees for IC.  Besides Ratan, Chief Information Commissioner Jannat Hussein, who was secretary to Y S Rajasekhar Reddy was also chosen to the post from the central services ahead of his voluntary retirement.

Following his appointment as IC, Ratan is expected to seek voluntary retirement, government sources said. The IPS officer was chosen for the IC post as he belonged to the Backward Community from the Telangana region, they added.

Three of the eight nominees to the position had contested the 2009 assembly elections on various party tickets.

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