Jaya defends boycotting of meeting to select CIC

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa defends boycotting of meeting to select CIC saying she had not been provided with details on the contenders for the post.

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2010, 15:35 PM IST

Chennai: AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Monday defended her decision to skip the meeting to select state Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), saying she had not been provided with details on the contenders for the post so she saw no point in attending the meet.

"As a member of the committee (by virtue of being the opposition leader) I had sought details of those who had applied for the post of the CIC. But since they were not given
I was not in a position to express my views on the matter and therefore I did not participate," she said in a statement.

Jayalalithaa said she would have participated in the meeting, which was headed by Chief Minister M K Karunanidhi, had the details been furnished.

She alleged `lack of transparency` in the appointment of former Chief Secretary K S Sripathy as the CIC, saying his name was making the rounds even before the selection process.

"The government had already decided the CIC and their inviting me looks more of a formality," she said, adding the very purpose of having the opposition leader as a member of the committee for transparency purposes had not been served.

Selection of Sripathy for the post was marred by controversy as Right to Information (RTI) activists had been opposing his candidature contending that it was during his tenure as Vigilance Commissioner that the Vigilance Commission pushed for the Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption out of the RTI purview.

They had also called on Jayalalithaa urging her to oppose Sripathy`s name in the selection committee meeting. Three activists had staged a protest outside Raj Bhavan last week during Sripathi`s swearing-in ceremony as CIC.

PTI