After a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that the procedure followed was arbitrary in the process of appointment of the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to appoint Information Commissioners from ‘all streams, not just bureaucrats’. The vacant posts at the center and state level Information Commission should be filled within six months.
The apex court also directed the government to bring transparency in the appointment process. It has ordered the Search Committee to make the selection criteria public.
Related Article:Supreme Court gets four new judges, strength rises from 24 to 28
Earlier, the petitioners alleged that the appointment process of Information Commissioners to the Central Information Commission was conducted in an arbitrary manner. They submitted that the search committee, in violation of its mandate, short-listed persons who had not even applied for the post in response to advertisements.
The bench observed, “Centre and state governments should ensure selection of Information Commissioners and Chiefs of state Information Commissions to be at par with Election Commissioner.”
Related Article:Justice KM Joseph elevated to the Supreme Court
The top court was hearing a plea filed by RTI activists-petitioners Anjali Bhardwaj, Lokesh Batra and Amrita Johri. The petitioners are represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva.
The petitioners stated that over 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending with the CIC (Central Information Commission) as posts of Information Commissioners are lying vacant.