Delhi High Court reserves order regarding appointments at CIC
In the case of the PIL filed in the Delhi High Court regarding the vacancies pending at the level of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Delhi High Court has reserved its order yesterday i.e. May 21, 2015. During the hearing, the Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain informed a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw that Vigilance clearance from the respective cadre controlling authority in respect of the shortlisted serving officers and inputs from the Intelligence Bureau in respect of retired officers has been sought vide communications dated 5 May 2015 and 2 May 2015, respectively. He further informed the court that the matter shall now be put up before the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister as per the RTI Act, and the process would take another one or two months.
The CIC has remained without a head for more than 10 months and also has a vacancy of two information commissioners leading to a massive backlog of cases. The PIL was filed by RTI activists R K Jain, Lokesh K Batra and Subhash Chandra Agarwal seeking to fill up of vacant posts in a time bound manner. The petition stated that due to non-appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner since 23 August 2014, the appeals and complaints relating to the important authorities including CVC, CBI, President's Secretariat, PMO, Cabinet Secretariat, Supreme Court and High Courts, Lok Sabha, CAG, DOPT, UPSC and Staff Selection Commission are not being heard and there is a vacuum of jurisdiction at CIC for more than 100 public authorities/ departments, as no officiating arrangements for CIC have been made. The RTI Act prescribes a statutory time lines of 30 days for providing the information from the date of application and disposal of first appeal within maximum period of 45 days. The petion further contends that these time-lines are defeated due to non-appointment in the CIC which is now taking nearly 2-3 years to hear the complaints.