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State Wide “Praja Ballot” – Cast your Vote and express your View
The long awaited selection (eight candidates were picked by the 3 member selection committee in the meeting held on 31st January) for the post of information commissioners of Andhra Pradesh, has become controversy. The selection process, procedure and quality of many appointees have become a subject of wide discussion & criticism across the state in particular and the nation in general.
The following are the main issues raised by the civil society groups:
1.The main issue is about the process and procedure followed in the selection of Information Commissioners
2.Neither was a proper procedure laid down for these appointments, nor were there any guidelines or rules laid down for the proper process to be followed.
3.No applications were called for, no committee was formed to make a shortlist, no criteria has been set for selection and finally, as per media reports and as told by the Chief Minister himself, the selection committee has made some selection based on Caste, Region and Religion. The posts which are equivalent to chief secretary cadre and as such the criteria should not be applied to.
The selection and appointments have to be on the basis of transparent, objective criteria which should exclude vice of arbitrariness and mala-fides.
4.The Information Commissioners are appointed by the Hon’ble Governor for upholding the objects of the RTI Act, the first of which is, to ensure “Transparency”. If they themselves are appointed in an opaque manner, then it is a sheer mockery of the objects of the RTI Act itself !
5.Neither the Government, nor the Selection Committee have taken into account the capability of the selected persons in ensuring that the “integrity” of the Information Commission is maintained. Institutions are always more important than the individuals manning them and in this case nothing has been heard about a particular candidate being suitable, or more suitable than other applicants, for performing the duties of the “Information Commissioner”.
The civil society organizations and concerned citizens have expressed their displeasure and discontent over the selection process and quality of the candidates selected.
The forum is conducting praja ballot (referendum) seeking people’s opinion on the selection process of the information commissioner. We are organizing in city and all the district head quarters from 15th February to 21st February. The results will be announced on 22nd.
You Can also Express your opinion by casting you VOTE through online… see the link given below