PANAJI: Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday said the government will study the provisions of the law as well as the Constitution as regards giving extension to incumbent state Chief Information Commissioner Leena Mehandale. “If there is any legal provision for the extension, then the government could very well do so, as it is not advisable to keep the post vacant,” he added.
The particular post is scheduled to fall vacant on January 31 when Mehandale retires. Right to information activists have already expressed surprise over the fact that the government is yet to advertise for the post.
The Chief Minister also said the government will appoint two state information commissioners within this fortnight, revealing that the posts have already been advertised and the process of selection is on.
He also said the government will give priority for the appointment of Lokayukta.
There have been no state information commissioners in Goa since 2010. Moreover, selection or short-listing of the candidates for the posts were twice cancelled as there were inadvertent procedural lapses left in their appointment process.
Earlier, Parsekar inaugurated the new premises of the office of the State Information Commission at Kamat Towers, Patto Plaza, in the presence of Mehandale.
Minister for Information and Publicity Milind Naik and vice-chairperson of Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation Pramod Sawant were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Parsekar hoped that the new office of the State Information Commission would help in better implementation of the Right to Information Act.
“The implementation of the Act in turn, will assist in providing a speedy and transparent administration to the people,” he added, pointing out that this scenario would largely control the corruption in administration,
“The prevailing perception as regards the Right to Information Act being misused for purposes like intimidation, blackmailing and extortion is not entirely untrue, and there does exist one to two per cent such cases,” the Chief Minister admitted, stating that however, the rest of the good things taking place due to this legislation should be appreciated.
He hoped that the impressive literacy rate in Goa would ensure maximum use of the Right to Information Act.
Naik said that now that the State Information Commission is in possession of a new venue things should not end, but start with new vigour.
The Chief Information Commissioner in her speech thanked the government for providing a new venue for the office of the Commission, which is very much accessible to common man.