Governor TV Rajeswar has reportedly returned without signing the file of retired bureaucrat Ram Kumar,whose name was forwarded by the government for appointment as state Chief Information Commissioner.
According to sources in the government,the Governor has raised a few objections regarding the credentials of this 1976 batch officer of Indian Administrative Services (IAS).
A senior official in the UP government said the file has been sent back as Mulayam Singh Yadav had written a letter to Rajeswar,complaining that the committee recommended the name even though he was not present in the meeting at which the name was finalised. Taking note of the complaint,the Governor has returned the file along with some queries on the credentials of the individual.
The Governors office refused to confirm if the file has been sent back,but officials admitted that no decision has yet been taken. The name of Ram Kumar was finalised by a committee which met last Friday.
The committee,which recommends the name of the State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioners to the Governor,comprises the chief minister,who is the chairperson of the committee,Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and a cabinet minister nominated by the chief minister. In this case,the Leader of Opposition Mulayam Singh Yadav was not present in the meeting when the committee zeroed in on the name of Ram Kumar.
Questions have since been raised over the credentials of Kumar. He was suspended by the Kalyan Singh government in 1998 on corruption charges. Later,during the Ram Prakash Gupta regime,he was dismissed. But Kumar got a reprieve from the Central Administrative Tribunal and was reinstated.
Incidentally,a similar situation had cropped up during the Mulayam Singh regime also,when the name of retired judge of High Court MA Khan,who was involved in many controversies,was forwarded to the Governor,who returned the file without signing.
The Governor had also returned the file with adverse remarks at the time of appointment of two State Information Commissioners in 2006. But his office later cleared by all the names. So returning the file does not imply that Kumar will not be appointed.
Section 15 of the RTI Act,which explains the formation of the Commission and the appointments of State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioners,does not say anything about the Governors refusal to approve the name suggested by the committee.