Bassi as Information Commissioner: Full text of Shailesh Gandhi’s letter to Cabinet Secretary


Mr. P.K. Sinha

Cabinet Secretary

Govt. of India

There are news reports that Mr. Bassi is likely to be made an Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission. This would be a travesty of the process. There should be a transparent process for selecting an Information Commissioner in line with the spirit of the Right to Information Act. I concede that the final selection is a political decision as per the Act, but there should be a transparent process for shortlisting the panel to be presented to the selection committee. Not doing this is doing great harm to the RTI Act.

At this particular moment when Mr. Bassi appears to have acquiesced to an open subversion of two of the estates of our nation, his choice would be very unfortunate. By his collusive inaction, journalists were attacked and the sanctity and respect for the judicial system and the courts was diminished. Even when a citizen does this it is unacceptable. From a public servant charged to uphold the law, it deserves the strongest condemnation. Julio Ribeiro has stated with sadness “I would have arrested the lawyers from their homes at night. I would never condone such acts,” and “I always had good opinion about Mr Bassi. Unfortunately, circumstances have changed my opinion about him. He is angling for a post-retirement job.”

If the government now makes him an Information Commissioner it would be a sad day for democracy, and people will believe that the denigration of the two estates of governance had the approval of the government. I have faith that this will not be true.

Please convey this to the Prime Minister.

Best regards

Shailesh Gandhi

Former Central Information Commissioner

I expect that I will receive a reply as per para 16 of the DOPT manual of office procedures issued in September 2010.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 11:39:23 PM |

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