Former Bihar chief secretary R J M Pillai on Saturday took over as the Chief Information Commissioner of Bihar State Information Commission, replacing Ashok Kumar Choudhary, also a former chief secretary.
Pillai is the latest addition to a list of retired bureaucrats, who have been enjoying confidence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads appointment panels of several commissions as well as boards.
The government’s standard defence on its penchant for former bureaucrats is that it is only “going for merit and experience”. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, one of the members of several appointment panels, told The Indian Express: “Bihar, which had no governance till a few years ago, needs good governance. Former bureaucrats are chosen for such positions because of proven track as good administrators.” He, however, made it clear that such appointments are not given as a matter of reward to any retired officer, as being insinuated by the Opposition.
Among about a dozen IAS and IPS officers, who have been given important post-retirement position by the Nitish Kumar government are former chief secretaries Ashok Kumar Choudhary and RJM Pillai, ex-development commissioners K C Saha and S Vijayraghavan, and former DGPs Shiv Chandra Jha and Neelmani. Former additional director general of police Rajyavardhan Sharma, who retired recently, has been appointed as member of Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC).
Here is the list of retired IAS officers holding key positions:
Ashok Kumar Choudhary, 1972 batch: Choudhary, who retired as chief secretary in 2007, was made chairman of the BPSC in 2008. He was appointed as the chief information commissioner in 2010. The tenure of CIC is for five years or at the age of 65, whichever comes earlier. Choudhary was also the BPSC chairman from January 15, 2008 till August 2, 2009.