Delhi High Court seeks the status of appointment at the CIC
The post of chief information commissioner at Central Information Commission (CIC) has been lying vacant since August, 2014 making the watchdog headless for more than 7 months now. Similarly, the posts of three information commissioners have been lying vacant for nearly a year at the CIC.
A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court raising the issue of delay in the appointments at CIC. In the PIL, it was submitted that the CIC was created as a statutory body to decide appeals and complaints against public authorities for non-compliance of the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005. It was further alleged that the proper functioning of the CIC is essential for the proper implementation of the RTI Act, and the government has attempted to stifle the functioning of the Act by failing to do its statutory duty - to appoint chief information commissioner and information commissioners at the CIC. The petitioners requested the Court to direct the government to urgently prepare a short list of candidates for the posts of the chief information commissioner and three information commissioners in a transparent manner for final selection and do the appointment in a time-bound manner.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw of the Delhi High Court has asked the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain to take instructions from the central government regarding the status of the appointment of chief information commissioner and information commissioners at the CIC and apprise the court. Hearing a PIL filed by Right to Information (RTI) activists R.K. Jain, Commodore (Retd.) Lokesh Batra and Subhash Chandra Agarwal, the bench has asked the ASG to report to the court on 09-04-2015.
Currently, there are only seven information commissioners functioning at CIC and the pendency has shot up to a 37,650 cases.