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A N Tiwari is new RTI panel chief

A senior information commissioner at the Central Information Commission, Tiwari will get only two-and-a-half months in the top post until he retires on December 15, 2010

A N Tiwari has been appointed India’s new chief information commissioner (CIC), succeeding Wajahat Habibullah who retired recently.

The decision to appoint Tiwari, a 1969 batch IAS officer and former secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, ends the uncertainty surrounding who will succeed Habibullah.

“Yes, a decision to appoint A N Tiwari has been taken,” said a highly placed source, and Habibullah confirmed the development. “The chief information commissioner is the administrative head of the Commission and I am happy that a decision has been taken on time,” Habibullah said.

The names of former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah and environmentalist and noted RTI activist, Shekhar Singh, were also doing the rounds.

The government consulted the Opposition BJP, a mandatory requirement according to the Right to Information Act, before sending the appointment file for final approval to the President.     

The chief information commissioner is chosen by a committee comprising the prime minister, leader of the Opposition and a Cabinet minister. Information commissioners can be directly appointed by the government.

As information commissioner, Tiwari is credited with having brought the income tax returns of political parties under public scrutiny.

Source: Press Trust of India, September 30, 2010
            Hindustan Times, September 30, 2010