New Delhi: The information commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha has directed the government to make the names of IAS officers who faced disciplinary proceedings in the last 10 decade public.
Sinha said the information must be in public domain for the larger public interest as many of these officers hold prominent positions in the government now.
“The Commission is convinced with the aspect of larger public interest in disclosure of names of IAS officers against whom disciplinary inquiries have been initiated under Rule 8 of the AIS (Discipline and Appeal) Rules because they occupy high government positions and lead to the famous idiom ‘Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion’ for ensuring transparency and probity in public life,” Sinha said.
The information commissioner’s directive comes as an arbitrary measure following an RTI-appeal filed by social activist Nutan Thakur. Lucknow-based Nutan has requested the list of officers who faced disciplinary proceedings under Rule 8 of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules and were initiated since January 1, 2008.
The Department of Personnel and Training has generated a list of fourteen IAS officers, serving the central government, who had disciplinary proceedings initiated against them.
“In view of foregoing, CPIO is directed to procure the list of names of the relevant IAS officers sought in the RTI Application working in the State cadres as well from Administrative Vigilance Department Desk of the DoPT and provide the same to the Appellant,” Sinha said.
Sinha has also warned the department officer who allowed social activist Nutan to view “personal records” of officers as it was against the protocols.
“First appellate authority has grossly erred in providing the opportunity of inspection of personal records pertaining to disciplinary proceedings of IAS officers to the appellant,” the officer said.
Sinha said inquires under Rule 8 of AIS (Discipline and Appeal Rules) against IAS officers, being their personal information, are exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.