NewDelhi: The Centre on Monday appointed senior most Information CommissionerÂ Vijai SharmaÂ as the new Chief Information Commissioner, while former CBDT chiefÂ KV ChowdaryÂ was named as the newÂ Central Vigilance CommissionerÂ of the country.
These names are understood to have been cleared in the meetings that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with leader of largest opposition party in Lok Sabha – Mallikarjun Kharge.
While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attended the meeting on selection of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the other meeting on Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh was also present in the meetings.
Earlier last month, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi had attacked the Prime Minister over the delay in the appointments of chiefs of CIC, CVC and Lokpal saying the government feared transparency.
Sharma, a former Environment Secretary, has been working as Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commissioner since 2012. Sharma, if appointed as chief of the transparency watchdog, will have a tenure of about six months till he attains the age of 65 years on December 2.
Chowdary, who retired as CBDT chief in October last year, has been working as adviser to Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing black money cases.
The two meetings also cleared the names for three vacant posts of Information Commissioners and at least one Vigilance Commissioner.
The last meeting of the panel held here on May 23 had remained inconclusive.
The CIC, which is mandated to resolve appeals and complaints filed against government departments or public authorities by information seekers under the Right to Information Act, has been working without a chief for over nine months, after the tenure of CIC Rajiv Mathur ended on August 22, 2014.
In CVC, the term of Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar had ended on September 28 last year, while Vigilance Commissioner J M Garg completed his tenure on September 7.
The government has received about 130 applications for the two vacant posts at the anti-corruption watchdog, reports said.Â