RTI reply reveals people who missed out on becoming CIC
New Delhi: Vijai Sharma was chosen as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) earlier this month ahead of two other strong contenders who had also made it to the short-list - former Union Coal secretary Sanjay Kumar Shrivastava and former LIC Chairman Dinesh Kumar Mehrotra.
An RTI reply to activist Lokesh Batra by the government shows that these three names were put up before the selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
A search committee headed by then Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth had earlier also recommended the name of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta for the short-list but the same was excluded from the list sent to the selection committee after inputs from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the CBI, the documents revealed by the government under RTI show.
The inputs furnished by the IB and CBI regarding Gupta, a 1974-batch retired IAS officer, have however been excluded from the RTI reply by the government.
Shrivastava is a 1978 batch retired IAS officer while former LIC Chairman Dinesh Kumar Mehrotra is presently a Director in the Boards of TISCO, CAMS and MCX.
The selection committee selected Vijai Sharma as the CIC by consensus. 203 persons had applied for the post of the CIC, the RTI reply shows.
553 persons had also applied for three vacant posts of Information Commissioners (IC).
The RTI reply reveals that the selection committee on May 23 short-listed two names, retired IAS officer of 1979 batch Sudhir Bhargava and 1978 batch IAS officer Stuti Narain Kacker for vacant IC posts and sought further details on them.
However, in the next meeting on June 1, the committee decided to only fill one post of IC and selected Bhargava, the former Social Justice Secretary, for it.
A search committee headed by then Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth had recommended a list of nine names for the post of ICs apart from Bhargava and Kacker - ex-Agriculture Secretary Ashish Bahaguna, present Staff Selection Commission Chairman Amitava Bhattacharya, ex-AICTE Chairman S.S. Mantha, ex-NSG Director General R.K. Medhekar, former Deputy C&AG Vijaya Moorthy, retired DoPT Secretary S.K. Sarkar and former All India Radio DG R. Venkateswarlu.