AP appoints eight Information Commissioners
After keeping the posts vacant for more than 14 months, the Andhra Pradesh government appointed eight Information Commissioners of which three are retired or serving bureaucrats. Those appointed as Information Commissioners are: C Madhukar Raj, IFS (Retd), S Prabhakar Reddy, IPS (Retd), P Vijaya Babu, Editor of Andhra Prabha Telugu daily, Varre Venkateswarlu, social worker, Lam Tantiya Kumari, advocate (daughter of former deputy Chief Minister Koneru Ranga Rao), S Imtiaz Ahmed, retired civil judge, M Vijaya Nirmala, academician and M Ratan, currently Director General of Police (Vigilance and Enforcement). M Ratan is due for retirement at the end of April this year and is expected to seek voluntary retirement following his appointment. The selection committee comprised of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy CM C Damodar Rajanarasimha and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu who unanimously approved the names of eight candidates. Governor E S L Narasimhan has issued a notification appointing the eight Information Commissioners.
Hyderabad based RTI activists were critical of the new appointments and said the selection process lacked transparency and was based on political equations. It was claimed that the appointments were done in a very opaque manner with no clarity on the selection process. The government did not call for applications for these posts and the basis on which the new commissioners were shortlisted is not known. As the selected commissioners hardly had any experience in RTI, it was claimed that it would affect the pendency of the cases.