Heeralal Samariya sworn in as Chief Information Commissioner

New Delhi: Information Commissioner Heeralal Samariya was on Monday sworn in as the Chief Information Commissioner by President Droupadi Murmu.

The top post at the transparency panel — Central Information Commission (CIC)– was lying vacant following completion of Y K Sinha’s tenure on October 3.

President Murmu administered the oath of office to the 63-year-old Samairya at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a communique issued by the president’s office said.

The appointment comes after the Supreme Court’s October 30 directive to the central and state governments to fill the vacant positions, warning that the 2005 Right to Information Act would become ineffective otherwise.

A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud directed the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to collect information from all states on the number of authorised information commissioners in State Information Commissions (SIC), current vacancies, and the total number of pending cases.

“The Right to Information Act of 2005 will become a dead letter,” the CJI said.

In December 2019, the Supreme Court instructed the central and state governments to fill all information commissioner vacancies at the CIC and SICs within three months, citing the need to develop guidelines to prevent misuse of the Right to Information Act.

The authorities concerned were also directed to disclose the names of the search committee members for the selection and appointment of information commissioners (ICs) at the CIC on their websites.