RTI Act Current Affairs

RK Mathur sworn in as 8th Chief Information Commissioner

Former Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur (62) has sworn in as the eight Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of the Central Information Commission.

He was administered the oath of office by the President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

Mr. Mathur as the CIC will have tenure of about three years i.e. till 2019 till he attains the age of 65 years. He succeeds Vijai Sharma as he has retired after completion of his tenure.

Background

  • In December 2015, President Pranab Mukherjee had approved the appointment R K Mathur as CIC after receiving proposal of Prime Minister led selection committee as per The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
  • The selection committee included Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Chairman), Leader of the Largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha, Mallikaarjun Kharge and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

About R K Mathur

R K Mathur is a retired IAS officer of Tripura cadre. He had served as Defence Secretary for two years. He also had served as Secretary Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Defence Production and Supplies.

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Attorney General is a public authority and comes under RTI: Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court in its ruling has held that Attorney General of India comes under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.

This ruling reversed the previous decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which had held that Attorney General does not come under RTI Act.

Delhi High Court held that

  • Attorney General is not merely a lawyer for the government, but is a constitutional authority. This is because functions performed by the AG under Article 76 (2) of the Constitution of India are in the nature of public functions.
  • So the office of Attorney General is a public authority and comes under the ambit of section 2(h) of the RTI Act.

The decision was given by Delhi High Court bench headed by Justice Vibhu Bakhru while hearing on two separate pleas filed by RTI activists Subhash Chandra Agarwal and RK Jain. In one plea, the petitioners had challenged the CIC ruling and urged the court to declare AG office answerable to RTI Act.

In 2012, CIC bench had ruled that the Attorney General of India is only a person and cannot be considered an authority under the RTI Act.

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