Former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and Information Commissioner Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha will be appointed as the new chief information commissioner while journalist Uday Mahurkar will take charge as information commissioner despite dissent from Opposition, The Indian Express has reported.
According to the report, Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General Saroj Punhani's name has also been finalised for the post of information commissioner.
However, according to the report, this comes despite objections raised by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is the Opposition member in the selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the report, during the meeting of the committee on October 24, Chowdhury had called the shortlisting of Sinha and Mahurkar as "nothing but an empty formality aimed at carrying out a hog-wash that defeats the very aim and goal of transparency and accountability that the RTI Act envisage".
Chowdhury said that the CIC should have more experience in other issues that concern public service, such as law, science, human rights and service delivery. Moreover, according to the report, Chowdhury claimed that Mahurkar's name was "skydropped" since he had not even applied for the post. Chowdhury also said Mahurkar is "an open supporter of the ruling political party and its ideology".
The senior journalist, who has penned books on PM Modi, confirmed that he has accepted the "offer letter".
Sinha, too, confirmed to the newspaper that he has been contacted for the appointment.
The report suggests that for the post of information commissioner, the committee had shortlisted seven names besides Mahurkar and Punhani. Over 139 people had applied for the post of CIC and 355 for the posts of information commissioner.