Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi is no longer in the running for the position of information commissioner, reports said Friday.
Bassi, who is set to retire on Feb. 29, had applied for the position of information commissioner (IC) in September and was shortlisted along with three others on the condition that incumbent IC Basant Seth is elevated to the position of chief information commissioner (CIC), according to the Press Trust of India. The incumbent CIC is RK Mathur, who was appointed in September 2015 for a period of three years. There are currently seven ICs. The Central Information Commission can have as many as 10 ICs.
"It is not right for me to comment on this; anyway it doesn't affect me," Bassi told ANI reacting to reports of his name being dropped from list of IC candidates.
Bassi's candidature was criticised recently after the Delhi Police allegedly did not intervene when some lawyers hit mediapersons, students and faculty of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) at the Patiala House Court when they gathered there for the hearing of JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been accused of sedition.
Former IC Shailesh Gandhi said Bassi's selection to the commission would be "unfortunate."
"By his collusive inaction, journalists were attacked and the sanctity and respect for the judicial system and the courts was diminished. Even when a citizen does this, it is unacceptable. From a public servant charged to uphold the law, it deserves the strongest condemnation," Gandhi wrote in a letter to the Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, according to the Hindu.
"If the government now makes him an information commissioner, it would be a sad day for democracy, and people will believe that the denigration of the two estates of governance had the approval of the government," he said in the letter, adding that Bassi's election would be a "travesty of the process."