IAS retirees eyeing KIC vacancies

D S Ashwath and A Ramaswamy said to be front runners

Chief Information Commissioner K K Mishra is retiring in July this year, another Information Commissioner K A Thippe Swamy will retire in November.  Highly placed sources in the government told Deccan Herald that at least 20 IAS officers are lobbying for the two posts. Their files are now with the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), which would, sooner or later, forward them to the Chief Minister for -the final decision.

None of the names to be forwarded to the government for consideration include any retired judges, educationalists, journalists and eminent social activists who too are eligible to become the Chief Information Commissioner or the Information Commissioner as per the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

20 aspirants

“So far we have received 20 names, but we cannot reveal them to media. All candidates are retired IAS officers. Almost all of them are of principal secretary rank but none of them are retired chief secretaries,” said a highly placed source in the government.

According to the sources, among the 20 officials, D S Ashwath and A Ramaswamy, are the front runners. It was also learnt that a senior BJP functionary and a member of Karnataka Legislative Council is also lobbying for Ashwath. However, D S Ashwath and A Ramaswamy could not be contacted for their comments.

Lokayukta not in favour
Commenting on seeking application mainly from the retired IAS officers, Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde said he is opposed to the process of seeking application from the persons.

“The government should invite eligible persons to hold the post. If you invite applications, no retired judges or person would come forward. Also, persons for such posts should not be chosen because of their influence but by keeping their integrity and honesty into consideration,” he said.

Letter written

The president of the Bangalore unit of National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Jayashree J N, said her organisation has written a letter to the government opposing the appointment of bureaucrats because they block information and shield the Public Information Officers.

Another social activist Kathyayini Chamaraj said: “The government should go for people from other fields also.” She added that it was time to give others a chance, especially judges and people with known integrity, public spiritedness and honesty.

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