Taking note of objections raised by Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,the UP Governor has asked the Mayawati government to reconsider its recommendation of retired IAS officer Ram Kumar’s name for the post of state Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
Governor T V Rajeswar,who is the appointing authority as per the Right to Information Act (RTI),raised certain queries and returned the concerned file without signing it,official sources said on Thursday.
Kumar was dismissed from service in 2000 on charges of corruption and possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income. The Central Administrative Tribunal,had however,reinstated him in 2003.
As per Section 15 (3) of the RTI Act,recommendation for appointment of state CIC has to be made by a three-member panel comprising the chief minister (CM),the leader of the opposition,and a cabinet minister nominated by the CM. The governor is,however,the appointing authority.
In this case,as he had strong reservations,the leader of the opposition Yadav abstained from the committee’s meeting on February 20 when the CM and her minister Babu Singh Kushwaha unanimously short-listed Kumar’s name.
The CIC is the custodian of the Right to Information Act (RTI),which aims to ensure transparency and accountability in working of all public authority,including the state government.
Yadav’s objections over Ram Kumar’s name were because of his controversial credentials,Samajwadi Party sources said. The former chief minister had also planned to provide the governor Kumar’s career record.
Kumar was appointment secretary between June and October 1995 during Mayawatis first term as CM. Following charges of corruption and inquiries,he was first suspended by the Kalyan Singh government and then dismissed from the services on July 12,2000,by the then chief minister Ram Prakash Gupta.
After reinstatement in 2003,Kumar retired last year as Principal Secretary,Rural Engineering Services. Kumar’s name was shortlisted for the post of CIC from a panel of five including two former IAS officers and an existing information commissioner.