Saturday, December 05, 2009

24 of 40 Applicants for Maharashtra Information Commissioner are bureaucrats

Bureaucrats, virtually synonymous with the very red tape that the Right To Information Act seeks to surmount, are showing interest after retirement in dispelling information of all things. Data provided by the state’s General Administration Department shows that out of the 40 applications the government received for information commissioner, 24 were from retired bureaucrats who served within and outside the state.

More interestingly, some of these applications come with ‘recommendations’ from ministers and opposition leaders, raising questions over their impartiality even before they have been selected. For instance,the data revealed that one of the applicants Rajendra Chaturvedi, who served as the DGP in Madhya Pradesh, was recommended by former human resources minister Arjun Singh. Then there is Bhagwat R Patil, who has declared himself as a farmer and developer, who has been recommended by former state minister Swarup Singh Naik who was convicted in a forest scam case in 2006.Patil was also recommended by former MLA Chandrakant Reghuvanshi. Similarly in another application J S Kharat who said that he was a founder one district cooperative bank was recommended by former state minister Balasaheb Thorat and former central minister Oscar Fernandes. And Rama Das, who was with the Central Administrative Tribunal, was recommended by former opposition leader Ramdas Kadam. The data also show that are a couple of recommendations made by the deputy chief minister.
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