CIC loses files related to first Commissioner Habibullah's resignation

The Central Information Commission, entrusted with monitoring of record-keeping in government bodies, has lost the records relating to the resignation of first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah who headed the institution for nearly five years.

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission, entrusted with monitoring of record-keeping in government bodies, has lost the records relating to the resignation of first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah who headed the institution for nearly five years.

In an RTI response, the transparency panel said the lost files related to Habibullah's resignation are not readily traceable, raising questions about record-keeping in the CIC.

"The concerned file containing the communication relating to then Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah regarding his resignation are not readily traceable though efforts have been made. The information will be provided as an when available," Sushil Kumar, Deputy Secretary at the CIC, said in response to Commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra.

Batra told PTI that around October 20, 2009 Habibullah had resigned to join as Chief Information Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Then he had been advised by the Law Ministry that without a Chief Information Commissioner, the Commission's orders were open to be challenged by the courts...And now since the last Chief Information Commissioner Rajiv Mathur retired on August 22, 2014, no Chief Information Commissioner has been appointed," he said.

The file notings related to appointment of new Chief Information Commissioner show that the panel had raised its concerns about not having any administrative head.

"The government had delegated the financial powers of the 'Department' of central government to the Chief Information Commissioner for carrying out the administrative functions of of the Commission...

"In the absence of the Chief Information Commissioner, the Commission will be left with no administrative head having the required administrative and financial powers," T Y Das Secretary, CIC, had written to the central government.

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