Deepak Sandhu tipped to be next CIC

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DEEPAKNew Delhi, August 28; Former media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Deepak Sandhu, is likely to be appointed as next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) to succeed Satyanand Mishra who retires early next month.

Ms. Sandhu’s appointment is understood to have been cleared at a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the file recommending her name has been sent to the President’s office for his approval, official sources said on Wednesday.

The Chief Information Commissioner is appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee led by the Prime Minister and including the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the PM.

Ms. Sandhu, a retired Indian Information Service (IIS) officer of 1971 batch, has already been serving in Central Information Commission as Information Commissioner since September 2009.

Ms. Sandhu has served in different positions including media adviser to the Prime Minister, Principal Director General (Media & Communications) in Press Information Bureau, Director General (News) All India Radio, Director, Directorate of Film Festivals and Press Registrar, Registrar of Newspapers of India among others.

She has also been spokesperson for Ministries of Finance, Commerce and Health and Family Welfare.

Born in 1948, Ms. Sandhu, if appointed, will have a tenure till December 19 this year.

According to rules, a Chief Information Commissioner gets a term of five years from the date on which he or she enters upon the office or till he attained the age of sixty-five years.

Satyanand Mishra is due to complete his term as CIC on September 5.

At present, there are six Information Commissioners — M.L. Sharma, Sushma Singh, Rajiv Mathur, Vijai Sharma, Basant Seth and Sandhu, who is the seniormost among them.

The RTI Act has provision for the appointments of 10 Information Commissioners besides a Chief Information Commissioner.

The Government is likely to soon select other Information Commissioners.

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