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Shrawan

Kiran Bedi as CIC

Is the movement by Anna Hazare, Aamir Khan to bring Kiran Bedi as CIC justified?  

1,431 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the movement by Anna Hazare, Aamir Khan to bring Kiran Bedi as CIC justified?

    • Yes
      736
    • No
      695


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amit_patil28

I totally feel that Kiran Bedi will be an ideal candidate, with her past record of dedication over the post and offices she was in charged of.

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rajub

 

I simply want a CIC and IC who will not act like Gandhiji's three famous monkeys - "Hear no RTI Act, See no RTI Act and Speak no RTI Act"

 

 

There you are sir!

 

But are you asking for moon?

 

Sidmis has said in his post that euphoria soon died down about rti activist appointed as IC.

 

Why did that happen?

 

Is it because of nature, attitude or capabilities of that rti acitivist or because of the system he was thrown in?

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colnrkurup

DIT,

Suggestion of Shailesh Gandhi is a good joke; but from the 3 'Thank yous' it appears that you are serious. Please have a heart.

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sidmis

For me this overwhelming support for Ms. Bedi is symbolic only. It's a cry for Change. Most of us who support Ms. Bedi hardly know her or her style of functioning. She has this image created by the Media.

 

The all out clamouring for Ms. Bedi as CCIC is a moot pointer to fruitless era of outgoing CIC. AS if people were just waiting for him to leave CIC soon so that some one like Ms. Bedi would fill-in and SET RIGHT everything that is wrong & evil with Central Information Commission. It's public's way of telling that "all is not well with CIC". Make amends.

 

In fact I had a sigh of relief when I first heard of Habibullah's departure. Surprisingly there's only few who are really worried about his early exit. And no body has made any fervent appeal to him to stay on at CIC. There are far too many things that went wrong during the tenure of outgoing CIC.

 

Someone has also suggested "BHARAT RATNA" award to Sh. Wajahat. What a ridiculously funny idea !

 

And here we are, out of a billion we have only one person whom we found to be the fit one for CCIC post. We have accepted her not knowing her well enough & even though she was part of the establishment (babudom) not so long back. That's an irony.

 

Let's hope whoever is the next CCIC does live upto the huge expectations and not make a further mess to it.

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ganpat1956

Quite right Sidharth. I sincerely wish all this euphoria should not become another case of projecting in haste and repenting at leisure.

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karira

As reported by Labonita Ghosh in dnaindia.com on 08 November 2009:

The right choice - dnaindia.com

 

The right choice

 

 

Bangalore activist N Vikramsimha has an analogy to describe the hierarchy within the Central Information Commission, the body that monitors complaints from people who have not received a response to pleas filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

 

"If you have a problem getting information, here's how the chain of command for complaints goes. At the first level is the Public Information Officer, who may not be a bureaucrat but is certainly a government servant. After that, is the First Appellate authority, also a government official. And above them is the Information Commissioner, who is almost always a bureaucrat." Then, he adds: "It's like Brahma. Three heads, but with the same brain and bureaucratic mindset."

 

Vikramsimha's apt parallel foregrounds an issue that RTI activists -- and some invested citizens -- are grappling with: how to de-bureaucratise the Central Information Commission by making the appointment of its office-bearers more transparent and open. Earlier this week, a group of them got together to suggest that former top cop Kiran Bedi be appointed the next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).

 

The timing is right. With current CIC Wajahat Habibullah quitting his position and taking up an assignment in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre is primed to announce a replacement. "We're not saying it has to be her, but Kiran Bedi is a symbol for the sort of officer we want," says Delhi activist Arvind Kejriwal, who leads the charge. "A no-nonsense officer to facilitate things is what the CIC's position calls for."

 

Bad track record

 

This is because, as Kejriwal puts it, information commissions are "currently in bad shape".According to him, only 27 per cent of those who file appeals end up getting information; of the 100 orders passed by the commission, only about 30 are implemented. And the penalty for not following through on a petition -- Rs25,000 to be deducted from the salary of the errant officer -- is not being enforced enough either. "Of every 100 violations, penalties are imposed in only about two cases," says Kejriwal.

 

"The current officers in the information commission are very soft on their stand. That's why we need someone like Bedi, who has a track record of implementing laws without fear or favour." (The former IPS officer has said she is not particularly interested in the post, but if given a chance, she will take it up as a mission and not accept the Rs30,000 salary either.)

This move, however, merely points to a bigger campaign for bringing transparency in a body that was -- ironically -- set up to promote transparency and accountability. "The RTI Act and the information commissions were set up to empower citizens against the state," says Mumbai activist SK Nangia. "Not allowing openness and citizen participation in the appointment of the commission's officials becomes an antithesis to this idea. We want ordinary people to play a much greater role." So far, activists say, this has not been happening.

 

Since the Central Information Commission was set up in 2005, its office-bearers (including Habibullah and his eight subordinates, the Information Commissioners) have been bureaucrats. "Nothing wrong with that, except bureaucrats will always tend to be pro-establishment. How can we expect them to be unbiased?" asks Nangia. By pushing for someone like Bedi, activists are hoping that at least the top position in the Central Information Commission is in the hands of a neutral, uncompromised and citizen-friendly arbitrator.

 

Past incidents show there is some reason to be concerned. Activists say the government has turned information commission positions into 'reward postings'. Earlier this year, a bureaucrat, alleged to be a protege of a Congress minister, was appointed an information commissioner. As soon as the UPA government returned, she quit and took up a job in the new administration.

 

"This shows that the Centre has made a mockery of information commission positions," says Vikramsimha. Similarly, the present head of Karnataka's information commission, KK Mishra, was allegedly appointed "just hours after he retired as chief secretary". With Habibullah headed out, activists see this as the first opportunity to redress a long-standing grievance.

 

Citizens' participation

 

The way to get more people participation, many of them feel, is for the government to invite applications and suggestions through advertisements in public fora -- and later also seek consent before fixing on a candidate. "That way citizens can either nominate a candidate, or express their objections to one," says Venkatesh Naik, of the watchdog group Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, that was called in by the government to provide inputs when the Act was being drafted.

 

RTI is imperative to democracy, adds Kejriwal. "If you don't have information, how do you participate in a democracy? If you don't know anything about a candidate, how do you vote for him or her in an election? Dissemination of information is absolutely necessary."

 

The Act is surprisingly vague about the candidature of the CIC, merely saying the person should be an eminent one. Drafters of the Act (including Kejriwal) had borrowed the best practices of information-accessing legislation in other countries. For instance, extending the purview to include the private sector, albeit in a roundabout way, in the RTI Act, has been borrowed from South Africa. The definition of information and the method of seeking it is a derivative from Canada. Strangely, there are no global points of reference for appointing the chief information commissioner or its equivalent. But as Kejriwal puts it:

 

"There are many things in our RTI Act that have inspired other countries, like our system of penalties. By insisting on transparency and citizens' participation in appointments, we will be creating a precedent."

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karira

As reported by IANS in newkerala.com on 08 November 2009:

Court to hear plea on appointment of information commissioner .:. newkerala.com Online News -146516

 

Court to hear plea on appointment of information commissioner

 

New Delhi, Nov 8 : The Delhi High Court is likely to hear Monday a plea seeking transparency in the appointment of a new chief information commissioner of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and urging that bureaucrats should not be first choice for the post as 'an essential safeguard'.

 

The petition was filed by Krishna Rao and six others demanding that the government advertise the post of CIC chief widely and give equal opportunity for submitting candidatures to those who are eligible.

 

The petition filed last week through advocate A. Rasheed Quereshi submitted that “the function of Information Commissioner is to act as transparency of public administration, so appointment of those who have held key positions and high offices in the public administration violates the principles of natural justice and creates a constant threat of conflict of interest.”

 

“It is undesirable that bureaucrats are first choice for appointment to the CIC, in fact non-bureaucrats should be the first choice for CIC commissioner. This is necessary for providing an essential safeguard,” the petition states.

 

Stressing that advertising for the CIC commissioner's post is necessary, the petition says: “The process of issuing advertisements are part of international best practices. Since CIC's position is quasi judicial in nature, so it cannot be filled up through the closed process of in-house selection from within the public authorities over which it is expected to exercise jurisdiction.”

 

The present selection process is done by a committee comprising the prime minister, Leader of Opposition and a union minister nominated by the prime minister.

 

The activists have pleaded before the court that the government select such candidates for quasi-judicial posts whose occupational backgrounds make them "predisposed to conflicts of interest".

 

The petition also states that since the government does not advertise or make efforts to get independent, talented and qualified persons from other walks of life, they deprive the citizen the right to be served by well-qualified second appellate authorities in matters of Right to Information (RTI).

 

The CIC chief commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has resigned to take up his new appointment as Jammu and Kashmir Information Commissioner. His resignation is yet to be accepted.

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karira
she will take it up as a mission and not accept the Rs30,000 salary either

 

There is a factual error there.

 

As per Government Ordinance dated 09 January 2009, the salary has been revised to Rs. 90,000.00 per month + perks.

 

Please see the attached notification.

TCS-ICs-Revised.pdf

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karira
There you are sir!

 

But are you asking for moon?

 

Sidmis has said in his post that euphoria soon died down about rti activist appointed as IC.

 

Why did that happen?

 

Is it because of nature, attitude or capabilities of that rti acitivist or because of the system he was thrown in?

 

No harm in asking for the Moon - In the sincere hope that I will get something !

 

BTW there is a English proverb:

 

one swallow does not make a summer

 

  1. A sign is not proof – do not rejoice too soon.

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inao

the CIC while exercising the powers under the RTI Act to decide disputes should positively ensure that they uphold the principle of natural justice. As no further appeal lies against the decision of the CIC under the Act, the mechanism for controlling the quasi-judicial bodies by the High Courts by a writ of certiorari, becomes relevant here in case when CIC failed to observe the principle of natural justice or when there is error apparant on the face of the record or when the quasi-judicial body acted without jurisdiction. therefore, the person like 'kiran bedi' who knows the root cause of the ailing hearts of the citizens and also the difficulties faced by the officers/officials in discharging their duties due to various factors, is quite necessary at the moment.

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luvly_krissy
With vast experience and ability to analyse issues, Ms. Kiran Bedi is the fittest choice. We have a woman President, woman Speaker and finally why not a woman CIC, that too an efficient and proven administrator.

R S Murthy

 

What makes you think that women do jobs better than men??? Alright you didnt say anything like that directly, but thats what you made it look like. Let us not involve gender everywhere....

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Greenpeace

I don't know much about her , but i can accept if really things turn in right way..

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jimmorrison

The author of this article has come closest to my opinion about why the process so used by 'promoters' of Kiran Bedi is not such a good deal.

 

 

Why Aamir Khan Should Not Lobby for Kiran Bedi?

 

The campaign by Aamir Khan, Subhash Chandra, Arvind Kejriwal et al for Kiran Bedi’s appointment to the top CIC position is both flawed and inappropriate.

 

The RTI Act 2005 is a landmark legislation that gives Indian citizens a platform to demand state accountability. Information commissioners are without doubt key to implementing the spirit of the RTI Act and not just its bare minimum legalese. If information is denied to the appellant, the Act allows two appeals: the First Appellate Authority (usually a direct supervisor of the PIO); then an Information Commissioner. If information is denied by the commissioner, there is no further source of redress. Hence, information commissioners are the final adjudicating authority for the implementation of the Act. There is wide consensus that differential and often regressive application of the Act by the Commissioners has stymied the Act’s implementation and intention. The Chief Information Commissioner is thus central to free access to information, necessary for a functional democracy.

 

Given that Kiran Bedi is a “person of eminence in public life” and freedom of expression is every citizen’s democratic right, it seems counterintuitive to argue against this lobbying effort. However, there are three reasons why this lobbying/campaigning for Kiran Bedi gives the real civil society cause for concern.

 

First, suitability not public opinion should be the basis for administrative appointments. Public opinion will by definition privilege the celebrity over less known persons. Kiran Bedi gets the overwhelming favourable response in public polls because she’s essentially uncontested - the public is not gauging her relative suitability vis-à-vis another individual. Moreover, public opinion is based largely on disseminated information and has little basis or even interest in validation. Clearly, we cannot select the next CIC based on an Indian Idol type SMS poll. As to Kiran Bedi, she may or may not do a good job as the CIC. However, she has compromised her credibility and seriousness by promoting a beauty creme. How can an individual celebrated in part for advancing gender equality (first women IPS officer) use her very reputation ("bedaag reputation ek din main nahi banti") as analogy ("nahi bedaag sundarta") to promote regressive consumer products like beauty cremes for women?

 

Second, if public opinion is to be used to pressurize the appointment committee, then the candidate (without whose implicit consent this campaign could not have been launched) must present a manifesto for the implementation of the Act post-appointment. The public should not be asked to form an opinion merely on the basis of celebrity endorsements. The campaign and candidate should make explicit their interpretation of the RTI Act (e.g., define information, use for resolution of grievance) and their stand regarding current provisions (e.g., implementing mandatory penalties) and proposed amendments (e.g., excluding file notings, “vexatious and frivolous” applications).

 

Third, the endorsers represent not the civil society but celebrities in their fields. If the campaign was to bypass the real civil society in favour of renowned persons, then there are other more relevant people, notably the NCPRI (National Campaign for People’s Right to Information) who are not even part of this lobbying effort. Additionally, the impression of diversity of the letter writers (and hence the manufactured image of her universal appeal) is false. Half of letter’s signatories are on the RTI Awards jury and there is a clear common thread connecting these apparently unconnected people. This brings us to the most disturbing fact of this campaign - using unqualified celebrities to promote a celebrity. The CIC post is not the film censor board so using Aamir Khan simply for the high decibel publicity perverts the appointment process. What gives Aamir Khan etc any special right to send this letter? Giving indiscriminate credence to celebrity opinion centralizes power and creates the same type of opaque nexus that's against the spirit of RTI. People rise and become public figures for specific reasons and their power/influence should be confined to those areas, as opposed to the revolving door status quo we have now where unqualified actors, sportspersons, businessmen and politicians occupy multiple positions like oscillating electrons in quantum mechanics

 

The underlying tenet of democracy is transparency, not popularity contests in the name of inclusiveness and participation. India is a representative democracy and such appointments are the responsibility of the executive body. The decision making process should of course be transparent; however, public opinion driven by celebrity endorsements (instead of democratic people’s movements) is susceptible to opacity and manipulation, and cannot and should not be the basis for serious administrative decisions.

 

Source: From the blog Bourgeois Inspirations by Ruchi Gupta

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karira

Exactly what I wrote in post #31 above.

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jimmorrison

Except for the my disagreement on the way the author attacked Kiran Bedi on account for the beauty creme.

 

Strongest point is there is no manifesto, and the lobbying effort diverts energy from bringing in a transparent CIC/SIC appointment procedure.

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Dr.S.ANANDKUMAR

"The author of this article has come closest to my opinion about why the process so used by 'promoters' of Kiran Bedi is not such a good deal. Why Aamir Khan Should Not Lobby for Kiran Bedi?"

 

Please, refer the post number 50. I wondered how Amir Khan could that. Ofcourse anybody can fantasize any one. it is not that I am not a fan of Amir Khan. He may be talented. He may be well informed as a Director. However, it is only proper if the appointment of CCIC is done by rule of law and not by lobbying for fantasies. Smaller posts in Govt. Departments are filled up by rigorous process of selection and appointment. Why not CCIC?

 

It is not a matter to be decided by Manmohan Singh and Advani because it is not on seat sharing for election. CCIC is a public funded post paid by public money. Hence, there should be law and order in the appointment and not so and so recommending so and so.

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PRAGHAVAN

Kiran Bedi is the best suitable person for this post. She has all quality to help the needed persons.

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usha parashar

I strongly recommend her for this POST

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mjsmurthy

Kiran Bedi has proved her mettle as an able police officer, feared and respected wherever she worked, not influenced by polityical pressures. Since we have UPA Chair person, Loksabha Speaker, President of India all headed by ladies with impeccable background, Kiran Bedi as CCIC will be an ideal choice to project our country as a country not dominated by males alone but the merit and ability is the main criterion.

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karira

As reported by PTI in in.news.yahoo.com on 18 November 2009:

HC declines to issue direction for appointment of CIC - Yahoo! India News

HC declines to issue direction for appointment of CIC

 

New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today declined to give directions to the government to change the procedure for appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner, saying it was not in its jurisdiction to lay down criteria in this regard. "Court can''t ask the government to frame rules to bring transparency.

 

You can raise the issue before the government and before Parliament," a bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah said while hearing a PIL seeking a direction to the government to appoint a non-bureaucrat to the post. The petition filed by a group of RTI activists also pleaded that instead of appointing a person to the post without going public, the government should invite applications through public notice and then appoint the best candidate.

 

The bench, also comprising Justice Muralidhar, expressed inability to pass such an order, saying, "Such changes cannot be initiated by the judiciary. "The law was framed after a mass movement was initiated for it.

 

The same movement should be initiated to bring an amendment. Why should the court come into the picture at this stage," the judges said, adding, "You (RTI activists) should mobilise the larger civil society to build opinion on the issue".

 

The judges said, "The issue should not be closed by our rejection of your plea. It is an important issue.

 

We don''t think the judiciary will be able to do this as there are some limitations."

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MOHANDAS

No doubt she is the best available candidate for the post of CIC at present with proven credentials as an upright Police Officer during her tenure. Let us hope that she will work for the cause of RTI Act 2005 and bring transparency in the system taking the matter in its right perspective, in the event of she is given the task.

 

Let us hope good sense will prevail upon the appointing authorities honouring the feelings of the mass in its right direction.

 

Mohandas.

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karira

As reported in ptinews.com on 19 November 2009:

fullstory

 

PM to meet Advani, Moily tomorrow for new CIC

 

New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to meet Opposition Leader L K Advani and Law Minister Veerappa Moily tomorrow to finalise the name of the new Chief Information Commissioner.

 

Official sources said the meeting is likely to take place tomorrow evening - a day before Singh leaves for his State visit to the US.

 

The meeting, which will take place almost a month after incumbent CIC Wajahat Habibullah resigned, is being looked forward to by RTI activists who are demanding transparency in the selection process and pressing for the appointment of a non-bureaucrat to the post.

 

While there is no official confirmation about the candidates shortlisted for the post, several names, including those of Civil Aviation Secretary Madhavan Nambiar, environmentalist Shekhar Singh and Information Commissioner A N Tiwari are doing rounds.

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Shrawan

The selected candidate is a well known RTI activist associated with the ruling Indian National Congress Party from the populous state of Uttar Pradesh, the home state of Jahawar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

 

THE PRESS attache to Indian Ambassador to the United States briefed reporters in advance of the impending State visit by India's Prime Minister that the next Central Information Commissioner shall be a woman.

 

The selected candidate is a well known RTI activist associated with the ruling Indian National Congress Party from the populous state of Uttar Pradesh, the home state of Jahawar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

 

His Excellency said that there could be no better gift than this to people of India on Indiraji's birth anniversary. The formal announcement is expected shortly after a meeting including the Leader of India's opposition L K Advani. The meeting, which will take place almost a month after incumbent CIC Wajahat Habibullah resigned, is being looked forward to by RTI activists who are demanding transparency in the selection process and pressing for the appointment of a non-bureaucrat to the post. The PM-Advani meeting to finalise the name for the coveted post was to take place on October 27, but it was deferred with the authorities citing no reason.

 

Other names tipped for consideration included Civil Aviation Secretary M Madhavan Nambiar, AN Tiwari, noted environmentalist Dr Shekhar Singh, IGP Kiran Bedi and Oscar nominated actor Amir Khan.

 

Source: India to have a woman Chief Information Commissioner

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sushil_rajawat

Yas, Kiran Bedi undoubtedly stands as the only capable & Deserving candidate for the post of CCIC.

 

In this environment one and only kiran bedi can handle all the duties of the Post of CCIC.

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