The priority of Central Information Commission will be to check vexatious petitions and mounting backlog of cases, its new chief Vijai Sharma said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Sharma, who was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee, said that working of registry of the commission will also be improved to ensure cases do not pile up.
"Mounting backlog will be the one of the priorities. We will look into the working of the registry (of the commission) also.”
"(What we need to check) is that genuine applications getting crowded out by applications which some may prescribe as vexatious or frivolous. This is a very important angle which needs to be explored. And it is very important that we come out with an objective criteria within the Right to Information Act," he told reporters after the swearing-in function.
Sharma said the internal technology system needs to be enhanced so that it can find out duplicate RTI applications. "System advancements are needed to sort out repeated filing of RTI applications. The endeavour of the commission will be to make available maximum information in public domain so that there is no need to file RTI applications," he said.
Besides Sharma, K V Chowdary was also sworn in as the Central Vigilance Commissioner. "They made and subscribed the oath of their respective offices before the President," a release issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
Both of them joined their respective offices during the day.
Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Leader of Congress in the Lower House Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, among others. Former deputy prime minister and member of BJP's 'margdarshak mandal' L K Advani was also present at the ceremony held at Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Chowdary, a former chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, had earlier said his focus would be to protect whistleblowers and ensure "no personal vendetta" in vigilance-related work.
"My priorities will be to strengthen the overall work of the Central Vigilance Commission and focus on preventive vigilance. It would be important for me to see that disciplinary proceedings are completed in a time-bound manner so that no one is harassed.
"The commission will aim at strengthening the overall vigilance work of the government and promote transparency in decision-making," he had said.
The posts of CVC and CIC were lying vacant for over nine months. While the Central Vigilance Commission is in its full strength now, the Central Information Commission still has vacancy of three Information Commissioners against the sanctioned strength of ten.