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karira

Tamil Nadu: Sripathi to be TN info chief?

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karira

As reported by Jayaraj Sivan in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 05 August 2010:

Sripathi to be TN info chief? - Chennai - City - The Times of India

Sripathi to be TN info chief?

 

 

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu chief secretary

KS Sripathi is likely to be appointed the state chief information commissioner when S Ramakrishnan retires this month-end, highly placed sources said. S Malathi, vigilance commissioner and commissioner, administrative reforms, could be the new chief secretary.

 

Sripathi attained superannuation on April 30, but was given an extension by the state government with a view to organising the World Classical Tamil Conference.

 

 

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karira

As reported by Gangadhar S Patil in expressbuzz.com on 14 August 2010:

RTI activists oppose Sripathi as next CIC | Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) | | Indian Express

 

RTI activists oppose Sripathi as next CIC

 

CHENNAI: A news report that Tamil Nadu’s present Chief Secretary, K S Sripathi, is to be made the next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) has sparked protests from Right to Information (RTI) activists, who have shot off a memorandum to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi against such a move.

 

Activists have raised serious doubts about the integrity and objectivity of Sripathi, considering his past dealings with RTI.

 

They point to Sripathi’s initiative in getting the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption and Tamil Nadu State Vigilance Commission exempted from the purview of RTI during his tenure as Vigilance Commissioner.

 

According to documents obtained through RTI, the exemption was given on the insistence of the Vigilance Commission, even though the Government did not favour it.

 

Similarly, his effort in denying information about assets of IAS and IPS officers in Tamil Nadu despite the State Information Commission’s order to furnish the information has irked activists. “If the government selects Sripathi, there will be protests and we might file a Public Interest Litigation,” Retna Pandian, general secretary of Federation of Anti Corruption Teams, India, said.

 

“It is weird that the name of the next CIC is decided even before the Selection Committee has met. If it turns out that the CS is the next CIC, it completely exposes how farcical the process of the Selection Committee is,” said V Madhav, an activist from Chennai.

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vishnu_madhav

This is a continuation of the article referred to in the first post of this page.

 

Madhav.

 

Times of India Publications

 

Chief secy Sripathi may head info panel

 

Jayaraj Sivan | TNN

 

Chennai: Tamil Nadu chief secretary K S Sripathi is likely to be appointed as the next state chief information comm i s s i o n e r when the inc u m b e n t chief commissioner S Ramakrishnan retires this month end,highly placed sources said.S Malathi,vigilance commissioner and commissioner,administrative reforms,could be the new chief secretary.

 

Sripathi had attained superannuation on April 30,but was given an extension by the state government with a view to organising the World Classical Tamil Conference,which was held in Coimbatore in June.The new assignment in the information panel is apparently a reward for the successful conduct of the Tamil conference.He might move into the new post before his extended term as chief secretary ends.

Sripathi,a native of Chennai,is a 1975 batch IAS officer.He is a polyglot and is well versed in Tamil,English,Hindi,Kannada,Malayalam,German and French.

 

Malathi belongs to the 1977 batch of IAS.She was home secretary till recently and was shifted from that post based on her own request owing to health problems.

 

Sripathis appointment as chief commissioner of the information panel has to be cleared by a committee headed by chief minister M Karunanidhi.Other members of the selection committee are opposition leader and a cabinet minister nominated by the chief minister.The appointment is for a five-year period or till he attains 65 years of age,whichever is earlier.

 

As per the provisions of the RTI Act,the state chief information commissioner and state information commissioners (max 10 people) should be persons of eminence in public life with knowledge and experience in law,science and technology,social service,management,journalism,mass media or administration and governance.

 

He or she should not be a member of Parliament or the legislature of any state or union territory,or hold any other office of profit.The person should not be connected with any political party and should not be doing any business or pursuing any profession.

 

Pc0051700.jpg

Sripathi

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sidmis

Arbitrary appointment of info panel chief, say RTI activists

as reported by Jeeva, TNN, CHENNAI: Aug 23, 2010

 

Appointment of a new chief information commissioner for Tamil Nadu is likely to be a complex task for the State government as right to information (RTI) activists have stepped up their campaign to prevent the appointment of KS Sripathi to the post.

 

With the meeting of the selection committee for the appointment of the new CIC scheduled on Monday, a group of activists on Sunday met AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa who, as a opposition leader, is part of the three-member selection committee headed by chief minister M Karunanidhi. The other member of the committee is a minister deputed by the chief minister.

 

The activists - V Madhav of Association for India's Development, Nityanand Jayaraman of Tamil Nadu Right To Information Campaign and K Saravanan of Corporate Accountability Desk told Jayalalithaa that the name of chief secretary KS Sripathi was doing the rounds as the next CIC even before the meeting of the selection committee.

 

"We told the opposition leader that it was when Sripathi was the vigilance commissioner that Tamil Nadu Vigilance Commission (TNVC) pushed for the exemption of directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) and TNVC from the purview of RTI Act. Moreover, as the chief secretary, Sripathi had challenged the order of the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission which directed the government to disclose details as to whether IAS and IPS officers have disclosed their assets,'' Madhav said.

 

Jayalalithaa assured the activists that she would do her best. However, it is not known whether she would participate in the selection committee's meeting on Monday.

 

While the present Tamil Nadu chief information commissioner S Ramakrishnan's term is to end this month, RTI campaigners started their campaign last year itself. Some of the activists inspected, under the RTI Act, records of appointment of the present chief and other information commissioners and found the procedure followed was arbitrary.

 

The campaign gathered momentum last month when activists from several parts of the state applied for the CIC post to have a locus-standi to legally challenge the selection if it was not done in a transparent manner.

 

"We want the state government to prescribe rules for the appointment. It should call for applications by giving advertisement through media, prescribing minimum educational qualification and experience for the candidates. It should also test the capability and integrity of the applicants and shortlist the candidates and invite public objections, if any, before sending the panel of names to the selection committee,'' said H Krishnaraj Rao, an activist.

 

On August 4, about 50 RTI activists from across the country including Arvind Kejriwal and Aruna Roy met in New Delhi and discussed how governments at the Centre and the states could be pressured to evolve a clear eligibility criteria and transparent selection process for the appointment of information commissioners to the state and the central information commissions.

 

As per Section 15 of RTI Act, "the state chief information commissioner shall be a person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.'' CIC can hold office for five years but not beyond the age of 65.

 

Source : Arbitrary appointment of info panel chief, say RTI activists - Chennai - City - The Times of India

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sidmis

Jaya boycotts CM-headed meeting to discuss CIC candidates

as reported in Hindustan Times, Chennai, August 23, 2010, PTI

 

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Monday boycotted a selection committee meeting headed by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to discuss candidates for the post of the state chief information commissioner, with incumbent S Ramakrishnan's term ending this month.

 

Today's meeting assumed significance in the wake

of rights activists urging Jayalalithaa, a member of the commission by virtue of being Opposition Leader, to oppose the candidature of Chief Secretary K S Sripathy, whose name was reportedly in contention.

 

Activists have been opposing Sripathy's name as they contend that it was during his tenure as Vigilance Commissioner that the Tamil Nadu Vigilance Commission pushed for exemption of Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption from the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

 

Three activists had also called on Jayalalithaa on Sunday to convey their concerns, saying Sripathy's name has been doing the rounds even before today's meeting.

 

Karunanidhi and Finance Minister K Anbazhagan participated in the meeting, an official release said.

 

Jaya boycotts CM-headed meeting to discuss CIC candidates - Hindustan Times

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karira

As reported in Times of India, Chennai Edition on 24 August 2010:

Article Window

Jaya skips meet to pick CIC, says govt didn’t give names

 

Chennai: Opposition leader J Jayalalithaa on Monday boycotted a meeting of the selection committee under chief minister M Karunanidhi’s chairmanship to choose the state’s new chief information commissioner (CIC). AIADMK sources said Jayalalithaa skipped the meeting after she was denied advance information about the candidates being considered for the post.

 

Karunanidhi and finance minister K Anbazhagan, a member of the selection panel, met to discuss the appointment. Jayalalithaa, as the leader of the opposition, is the third member of the committee.

 

AIADMK sources said Jayalalithaa had asked for the names after she was invited to the meeting. However, the government declined to send her the names in advance and asked her to attend the meeting, the sources claimed. “She decided not to attend the meeting in protest. She felt that she could not give her views if she did not know the names first,” they said.

 

Government officials did not discuss the details of the meeting. There was also no information about the names considered for the post. RTI activists had met Jayalalithaa earlier to oppose the possible appointment of chief secretary KS Sripathi, who is due to retire in October, as the chief information commissioner. It could not be ascertained whether his name was considered at Monday’s meeting.

 

Chief minister M Karunanidhi, personnel and administrative reforms department secretary KN Venkataramanan and finance minister K Anbazhagan at the meeting in Chennai on Monday

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Atul Patankar

As reported at expressbuzz.com on 24 Aug 2010

 

Nobody’s talking about the next CIC

CHENNAI: The process for the appointment of new Chief Information Commissioner (cic) is shrouded in secrecy as no information came forth after the meeting of the committee for selecting the new CIC at the Secretariat on Monday.

Leader of Opposition, J Jayalalithaa, skipped the crucial meeting. The Chief Minister, who heads the committee for selecting the CIC, held discussions with Finance Minister K Anbazhagan, one of the members of the panel. Personnel and Administrative Reforms Secretary KN Venkataramanan was present.

Sources said Jayalalithaa had written to the Government expressing her views on the appointment of the CIC and the Government had responded to her views.

But neither the Government nor the Leader of Opposition had clarified what was going on. Official sources said the State government was silent on the issue, as it cannot disclose the names recommended by the committee for appointment of the CIC to the Governor.

The announcement of the new CIC could come only from the Raj Bhavan. The sources, however, declined to confirm if present Chief Secretary KS Sripathi’s name was recommended. RTI activists are against his apopointment as the next CIC.

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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 25 August 2010:

MK criticises Jaya for skipping CIC selection meeting - Chennai - City - The Times of India

 

MK criticises Jaya for skipping CIC selection meeting

 

CHENNAI: Criticising opposition leader J Jayalalithaa for failing to turn up at a meeting of the selection committee of the state's chief information commisioner (CIC), chief minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday said it had become a habit with her to ignore his invitations to attend meetings, including all-party deliberations, convened by him.

 

Asked by reporters at the DMK headquarters about her absence at the meeting. he said that when the last CIC was appointed, the then opposition leader, K Anbazhagan, had attended the meeting and accepted the majority view about the appointment made by then CM Jayalalithaa and finance minister C Ponnaiyan. "Perasiriyar (Anbazhagan) cooperated with the selection process in a dignified manner, Karunanidhi said, contrasting his conduct with Jayalalithaa's tendency to skip meetings convened by him.

 

On Monday, the panel, comprising the chief minister and finance minister, had met in her absence and sent a recommendation to the governor. AIADMK sources had claimed that Jayalalithaa, a member of the committee as required in the RTI Act, kept away because she was not given details of the candidates under consideration for appointment in advance.

 

Asked whether she had given any reason for her absence, Karunanidhi did not give a specific reply, but said that in general she kept away from meetings convened by him, including all-party deliberations on important issues concerning the state's interests and on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. "I will invite her, but she won't come. Sometimes, she will write to me criticising me or my government in a substandard way and say she is boycotting the meeting." he said.

 

Meanwhile, official sources said Governor S S Barnala had signed the appointment order.

 

With the state government tight-lipped over the name of the person recommended for the CIC post, a group of RTI activists have petitioned the Governor to ensure transparency in the selection process saying that the government was trying to keep the exercise completely under wraps.

 

The RTI Act merely says the CIC shall be a person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. The activists want the government to prescribe rules stipulating calling for applications by giving advertisement through media, prescribing minimum educational qualification and experience for the candidates, for testing the capability and integrity of the applicants and, short list the candidates and invite public objections if any before sending the panel of names to the selection committee.

 

With media speculating that chief secretary K S Sripathi, retired IAS officer Shanta Sheela Nair or one of the present information commissioners T R Ramasamy may be likely candidates, activists in their representation to the Governor on Tuesday said they wanted to meet him in person to brief him as to how there has been no effort from the government to initiate a transparent procedure despite their repeated requests.

 

"It is a great irony that the appointment of the very person who is expected to uphold transparency is happening in such a hush-hush manner,'' said the representation, signed by V Madhav of Association for India's Development, on behalf of a team of activists who have been campaigning for transperancy in CIC's appointment.

 

CIC is like a backbone for the Act as he can ensure transperancy in governance. The Government should, at least, fulfill the obligations under section 4 of the Act as per which it should `publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public,'' said V Gopalakrishnan, another campaigner.

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karira

As reported by IANS in indiatalkies.com on 25 August 2010:

‘Appointing RTI chief without consulting opposition is illegal’ | Politics

‘Appointing RTI chief without consulting opposition is illegal’

 

Chennai, Aug 25 – Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu and AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa said here Wednesday that the appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) without consulting her was illegal.

 

Charging the government with not providing her the requisite information on the appointment of the new CIC, Jayalalithaa said Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi cannot take her for granted and expect her to sign on the dotted line.

 

Responding to Karunanidhi’s charge that she did not cooperate on the issue of selecting the new CIC, Jayalalithaa said: ‘As the Leader of Opposition is one of the members of the CIC selection committee, I was given the invitation to attend the meeting. And I decided to attend the same.’

 

She said some social organisations and Right to Information (RTI) activists met her and complained that the functioning of the Information Commissioner’s Office is bad and it takes a long time to settle a case.

 

She said they also requested her to see that the new CIC is selected in a transparent manner.

 

According to her, the government declined to provide her the bio-data of the candidates who had applied for the post on the ground that it would be placed before the panel at the Aug 23 meeting.

 

A reply was sent to that letter stating that when the information is available to the chief minister and also to his ministerial colleague in the panel, denying that to her is discriminatory.

 

‘In 2005, no member of the selection panel had asked for the bio-data prior to the meeting and had such a request been made – the same would have been provided,’ she said.

 

The term of current CIC R. Ramakrishnan gets over at the end of this month.

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karira

As reported in The Indian Express, Chennai Edition on 01 September 2010:

 

01_09_2010_001_088.jpg

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karira

As reported in hindu.com on 2 September 2010:

The Hindu : Front Page : Sripathi sworn in Chief Information Commissioner

Sripathi sworn in Chief Information Commissioner

 

CHENNAI: K.S. Sripathi, former Chief Secretary, was sworn in State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) at a brief function at Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday.

 

Governor Surjit Singh Barnala administered the oath of office. Mr. Sripathi succeeded S. Ramakrishnan, who demitted office on Monday.

 

A gazette notification regarding Mr. Sripathi's appointment was issued on Wednesday.

 

In a brief interaction with reporters, the new State CIC said: “I will do what is just and what is justice. It is my objective.”

 

Asked whether he would like to be a pro-active CIC, he replied that “There is nothing called [being] pro-active. I would be an active CIC.”

 

To a question whether he applied for the post or if he was nominated, Mr. Sripathi replied: “You can ask for information.” As for the contention of information activists that the post had always gone to bureaucrats, the CIC responded that this was the second time that the CIC had been appointed. “The second need not be always.”

 

To another query on the activists' criticism about lack of transparency in the selection of State CIC, Mr. Sripathi said it was their opinion.

 

Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Law Minister Durai Murugan and Chief Secretary S. Malathi, among others, were present on the occasion.

 

3 arrested

 

Three RTI activists who allegedly protested the appointment of Mr. Sripathi in front of Raj Bhavan here were arrested. Police said Siva Elango, Madhav and Gopalakrishnan alleged that the appointment of the new CIC was made in a “non-transparent” manner. They were released in the evening.

 

In a statement, People's Union for Civil Liberties vice-president Sudha Ramalingam described the arrest of the three RTI activists as “unconstitutional” and demanded their immediate release.

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karira

As reported in deccanherald.com on 06 September 2010:

Jaya defends boycotting of meeting to select CIC

 

Jaya defends boycotting of meeting to select CIC

 

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa today defended her decision to skip the meeting to select state Chief Information Commissioner(CIC), saying she had not been provided with details on the contenders for the post so she saw no point in attending the meet.

 

"As a member of the committee (by virtue of being the opposition leader) I had sought details of those who had applied for the post of the CIC. But since they were not given I was not in a position to express my views on the matter and therefore I did not participate," she said in a statement.

 

Jayalalithaa said she would have participated in the meeting, which was headed by Chief Minister M K Karunanidhi, had the details been furnished.

 

She alleged 'lack of transparency' in the appointment of former Chief Secretary K S Sripathy as the CIC, saying his name was making the rounds even before the selection process.

"The government had already decided the CIC and their inviting me looks more of a formality," she said, adding the very purpose of having the opposition leader as a member of the committee for transparency purposes had not been served.

 

Selection of Sripathy for the post was marred by controversy as Right to Information (RTI) activists had been opposing his candidature contending that it was during his tenure as Vigilance Commissioner that the Vigilance Commission pushed for the Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption out of the RTI purview.They had also called on Jayalalithaa urging her to oppose Sripathy's name in the selection committee meeting.Three activists had staged a protest outside Raj Bhavan last week during Sripathi's swearing-in ceremony as CIC

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Atul Patankar

As reported at expressbuzz.com on 07 Sep 2010

 

CIC choice a blow to RTI: Jayalalithaa

 

CHENNAI: Leader of Opposition J Jayalalithaa on Monday charged that the appointment of the next Chief Information Commissioner of the State in a non-transparent manner without consulting her had defeated the very objective of the Right To Information Act. She also reiterated her view that the appointment of new CIC was illegal.

 

In a statement here, Jayalalithaa said the purpose of making the Leader of the Opposition one of the members of the committee choosing the CIC was to ensure transparency in the entire process. But the government had failed to give her the information about those who were considered for the post of the CIC and the government had invited her just for a formality to impose its decision on her, Jayalalithaa added.

 

Stating that the DMK government’s action in the appointment of the CIC had ulterior motives, Jayalalithaa said had the government given her the details sought by her, she would have attended the meeting. But the government’s decision had given room for controversies.

 

It may be recalled that RTI activists had called on Jayalalithaa last week and asked her to thwart the attempt of the government to appoint the then Chief Secretary KS Sripathi as the next CIC. However, the government went ahead and made Sripathi the CIC by keeping its decision under the wraps till the last moment.

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karira

As reported by Jeeva in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 04 December 2010:

HC orders notice to Govt on CIC's appointment - The Times of India

 

 

HC orders notice to Govt on CIC's appointment

 

 

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Friday ordered issuing of notice to Tamil Nadu government on a writ petition challenging the appointment of retired IAS official KS Sripathi as the chief information commissioner (CIC) of the state as there was "no transperancy" in the selection process.

 

Justice N Paul Vasantha Kumar ordered the notice, asking the government to file its counter within two weeks while admitting for hearing the petition, jointly filed by two right to information (RTI) activists V Madhav, a software engineer in Alwarpet, and Siva Elango of Saidapet.

 

While Sripathi, who is former Tamil Nadu chief secretary, was appointed as the CIC on September 1, 2010, the petitioners said there was a news report in The Times of India on August 5 itself stating that he could become the CIC whereas the selection committee meeting was held only on August 23.

 

Stating that the government had violated every concept of transperancy in the appointment process, the petition said opposition leader J Jayalalithaa did not attend the selection committee meeting saying that she was not given the list of names of the candidates who were considered for the post.

 

Three activists including the petitioners staged a protest, condemning the lack of transperancy in the CIC's appointment, in front of Raj Bhavan on the day when Sripathi was sworn in as the CIC. The agitators were picked up by the police and released later.

 

While a number of RTI activists from across the state had been urging the government to evolve a clear and transperant procedure to fill up the vacancy of the CIC, the authorities have not given any notification inviting applications from eligible candidates for the post, the petitioners said.

 

They said if the government had adopted such a procedure, several people who satisfied the criteria for appointment as the CIC could have applied for the post. In the absence of any procedure, no decision making process appeared to have involved in the selection committee meeting, they said.

 

The sequence of events leading to Sripathi's selection clearly showed that his appointment was "predetermined and preconceived" and against the provisions of Right To Information Act and principles of natural justice, the petitioners said.

 

They prayed the court to set aside his appointment and also restrain Sripathi from functioning as the CIC till the disposal of their petition.

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sepl70

please keep up the good work,Mr.krishna raj.please provide your phone no or contact me.

bala/

XXXXXXXXXXXX - Deleted mobile number - posting against forum rules

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