This Article is From Nov 07, 2020

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha Sworn In To Top RTI Watchdog Post

Mr Sinha, 62, takes over from Bimal Julka, who completed his term on August 26 and will hold the CIC post till October 2023

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha Sworn In To Top RTI Watchdog Post

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha

New Delhi:

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, a retired IFS officer, was sworn in as Chief Information Commissioner by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi on Saturday morning.

Mr Sinha, takes over from Bimal Julka, who completed his term on August 26; the position has been vacant since. Mr Sinha, who has also served as India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, will have a three-year tenure as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).

CIC and IC appointments are for five years or till the person appointed turns 65; Mr Sinha, who was short-listed by a three-member committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is 62 years old.

Other members of that committee were Home Minister Amit Shah and the Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is also the leader of his party in the Lok Sabha.

In addition to Mr Sinha, journalist Uday Mahurkar, former Labour Secretary Heera Lal Samariya and former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General Saroj Punhani have been appointed as Information Commissioners.

Officials told news agency PTI that they will be sworn in later today. With their induction the number of ICs has risen to seven; the sanctioned strength is 10.

Last week the central government's decision to appoint Mr Sinha and, more particularly, Uday Mahurkar, triggered a political flashpoint.

The Congress expressed its dissent over what it called the "skydropping" of Mr Mahurkar's candidature. "He (Mr Mahurkar) has been skydropped...(He) was an open supporter of the ruling party and its ideology," Mr Chowdhury told NDTV.

On Mr Sinha, the Congress MP said, "lacks on-ground domestic experience and Vanjana Sarna is the senior Information Commissioner in the commission".

With input from PTI