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PUNJAB-28 in race for one info commissioner post

July 19, 2019 06:20 AM


28 in race for one info commissioner post


Retired IPS officer Lok Nath Angra, who took over as Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) member in March 2018, is now trying to become a state information commissioner.

Angra as well as 27 others, including serving and retired bureaucrats, had applied for the vacant post of state information commissioner. Angra had retired from the post of inspector general of police and was appointed as PPSC member by the Congress government despite a dissenting note from then leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira. Even a few Congress legislators had raised objections over his name, citing his proximity to Akali leaders.

Angra is interested in the post as the information commissioner holds the office for five years or till the age of 65, whichever is earlier.


Pay, allowances for post same as of Pb chief secy

Moreover, the salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the information commissioner are same as that of the chief secretary of the state. A PPSC member has a fixed term of six years or until he turns 62 years.

Punjab IPS officer Balbir Kumar Bawa and IAS officers Praneet and Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal are among the applicants for the post.

Bawa is currently posted as ADGP of Punjab home guards and civil defence department. Praneet is special secretary of health department and Dhaliwal is serving as director state transport department. There are 10 posts of state information commissioners in Punjab and one of chief information commissioner. Others who have applied for the post include professors, journalist, revenue officers and advocates.

Retired IAS officer Harbhupinder Singh Nanda, who claims to have had a role in establishment of various private universities in Punjab, is another applicant. Retired Punjab civil service officers who have applied for the post include JK Jain and Jatinderpal Singh.

Jain had served as additional managing director of Punjab state agriculture development bank before his retirement and Jatinderpal retired as additional deputy commissioner (development) of Moga. Bathinda-based journalist Harjinder Sidhu, who once served as assistant media adviser to then deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, is another applicant. Rajesh Sharma, registrar of the Punjab state electricity regulatory commission, is also interested in the post.

The post had fallen vacant after the exit of state information commissioner Viney Kapoor Mehra. Mehra took over as vicechancellor of Dr BR Ambedkar National Law University in Sonepat on March 18.

She was appointed as information commissioner in September 2016 by the previous SAD-BJP government.

Before her appointment as information commissioner, she was professor and head of the law department in Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) in Amritsar.

Her appointment had stirred a controversy and had even reached the Punjab and Haryana high court when the incumbent Congress government had tried to remove her last year as she was not ready to leave the post of professor at GNDU from where she had taken extraordinary leave.


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