Without any authority and despite pendency of 33,000 second appeals State Information commission of Maharashtra (MSIC) has decided to go on three long vacations in 2016. The appointment of information commissioners has been severely criticized by the Right To Information (RTI) circles since beginning. It is not secret that they lobby hard and pull every string to get themselves appointed as transparency watchdogs. These Posts have been called the "parking lot for post-retirement babus" to enjoy the perks that it offers. That is the very reason that appointments of retired bureaucrats have adversely hit the implementation of the RTI Act.
The MSIC will go on special vacation on 9th may to 5th June, 28th October to 6th November and 25th December 2016 to 1st January 2017. With this decision MSIC has brought their vacations at par High court. Chief information commissioner of Maharashtra Ratnakar Gaikwad has issued this order under section 15 (4) of the RTI act. However, the Chief Information Commissioner does not even have the authority to approve the casual leave of himself and other Information Commissioners without The consent of the Governor. It needs to be pointed out here that Governor of Maharashtra had delegated that authority to him issuing a special order dated 25/06/2009.
No doubt that as per section section 15 (4) The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the State Information Commission vests in the State Chief Information Commissioner however that does not empower him to use governors authority. As per terms and conditions of services of information commissioners they are eligible for the leave as per all India services officers and such leave is to be sanctioned by the governor. Chief information commissioner does not have authority to sanction such leave or vacation. That’s why to sanction casual leave governor has given that authority to chief information commissioner by special consent.
It is not secret that bureaucracy is taking over the every system that has been created to fight it. But they are not doing not for the benefit of the society. They want to enjoy lavish life at the cost of public money. And to avail such perks they are loathed to give decisions against officials with whom they had served for.
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