One way to defeat a measure is to have your “yes men” in places where decisions are taken. The Right to Information is meeting a similar fate.
As reported in Mint today, in 2012, two-thirds of the 83 information commis-sioners at the Union and state levels are retired civil servants; three out of four chief information commissioners are retired members of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). That is not all: on 1 May, 30% of the posts of information commissioners in states were vacant.
It is no one’s case that all civil servants are placemen. But the esprit de corps of the IAS in this domain is less likely to help the cause of accessing information. A bit more of diversity—say persons from civil society (and not merely those who claim to be from civil society), former soldiers, businesspeople and others—can go some distance in achieving the goal of transparency.