Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the government for failing to appoint the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and alleged that it was trying to "shield" itself from scrutiny.
"I bring to attention the deplorable lapse of the government in appointing a chief information commissioner," Gandhi said, raising the issue in the Lok Sabha.
"This post has been lying vacant for the last eight months. The posts of the three information commissioners of the Central Information Commission have also been lying vacant," she said.
A combative Congress president, who had moved an adjournment motion over the issue in the morning, said, "The UPA had ensured that the position of the CIC had never lied vacant."
"The prime minister had made many promises to the people on transparency and good governance and continues to do so," Sonia Gandhi said.
"But this government has made sure of the absence of the CIC so that the Prime Minister's Office, the Supreme Court and the defence ministry are not accountable for violations under the Right to Information Act and are protected from public scrutiny," she said.
Gandhi said, "The government is brutally weakening the RTI Act and shielding itself."