as reported by Manoj Prasad Wednesday, June 18, 2008 in Indian Express
RANCHI, JUNE 17: The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Jharkhand Harishanker Prasad is under fire for two controversial orders passed by him recently, which his colleagues termed illegal. Prasad, who is due to vacate office on June 30, had passed orders on May 25, seeking post-retirement benefits for himself.
In his first order, he has sought Rs 14,000 as monthly allowances for two staff peons and a clerk. He has also claimed Rs 1,500 per month under the head of his telephone bill in his second order . According to the RTI Act, CIC’s rank is equal to a member of the Election Commission of India. But the Act says nothing about his post-retirement entitlements. Prasad, a retired judge of the Jharkhand High Court(JHC), defending his orders, said he had done nothing illegal.
“Madhya Pradesh’s CIC D N Srivastava got these perks after his retirement. So my orders are valid,” Prasad told The Indian Express. But none of his six Information Commissioners (ICs) think so.
“This is illegal,” said Information Commissioner Baidhnath Mishra, ex-editor of a local Hindi daily. “The RTI Act does not empower him to claim post retirement benefits for himself.”
Ever since the state Government constituted JSIC on July 30, 2006, Prasad had courted many a controversy.
His latest orders were being scrutinised by the state’s Personnel Department, the cadre controlling authority of JSIC. Admitted state’s Principal Secretary (Personnel) R S Sharma: “If the CIC is entitled to the post-retirement benefits he has claimed in his orders, they have to be provided by the Government. The CIC can propose them and pass orders for himself.”
As reported in The Telegraph, Sunday , June 29 , 2008
Ranchi: Ending days of shadow boxing, Governor Syed Sibtey Razi today
directed the state chief information commissioner, justice (retired)
Hari Shankar Prasad, to withdraw his controversial order detailing his
own post-retirement benefits.
He also told Prasad, who is to retire after two days, to contact the
state government for his retirement benefits.
The Governor's office had taken umbrage at the commission's decision
to frame its own rules, apparently to bypass the state government.
Today, Razi set the record straight and said in case of any conflict
over regulations, the state would prevail. Razi also sought annual
reports of all the commission's cases.