Heeralal Samariya sworn in as Chief Information Commissioner

Transparency panel CIC gets a new chief as Heeralal Samariya is sworn in by President Murmu

Heeralal Samariya, 63, took the oath at Rashtrapati Bhavan, attended by President Murmu, PM Modi, and others. (photo: @VPIndia/X)
Heeralal Samariya, 63, took the oath at Rashtrapati Bhavan, attended by President Murmu, PM Modi, and others. (photo: @VPIndia/X)


Information Commissioner Heeralal Samariya was on Monday sworn in as the Chief Information Commissioner by President Droupadi Murmu.

The top post at the transparency panel -- Central Information Commission (CIC)-- was lying vacant following completion of Y K Sinha's tenure on 3 October.

President Murmu administered the oath of office to the 63-year-old Samairya at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a communique issued by the president's office said.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh among others. Samariya, a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, had served as Labour and Employment Secretary.He was sworn in as the Information Commissioner in the CIC on November 7, 2020.

Samariya's appointment assumes significance as the Supreme Court had on October 30 asked the Centre and the state governments to take steps to fill the post, saying otherwise the 2005 law on Right to Information will become a “dead letter”.

Taking a serious note of vacancies in the CIC and state information commissions (SICs), a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra had also asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to collect information from all states on aspects, including the sanctioned strength of information commissioners in the SICs, vacancies at present and the total number of pending cases there.

After Samariya's appointment as the Chief Information Commissioner, there exists a vacancy of eight Information Commissioners.

At present, there are two Information Commissioners in the Commission.

The Commission is headed by the Chief Information Commissioner and can have a maximum of 10 Information Commissioners.

A Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners can hold the office till they attain 65 years of age.

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Published: 06 Nov 2023, 3:30 PM