Karnataka HC refuses to interfere in appointment of Information Commissioner
A committee headed by the then Chief Minister of Karnataka B.S. Yeddyurappa which included the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah and Minister V.S Acharya had made selections for appointment in the Karnataka State Information Commission (SIC). The individuals selected were - a retired IAS officer D. Thangaraj; a retired IPS officer M.R. Pujar; a medical practitioner from Gadag Shekhar Dr. D. Sajjanar; and T. Rama Naik, an advocate and social activist from Shimoga. A.K.M. Nayak, retired IAS officer was appointed as Chief Information Commissioner at SIC.
A public interest litigation (PIL) petition was filed by S. Umapathi, an RTI activist, challenging the selections made for appointment of individuals to the Karnataka State Information Commission (SIC). The petitioner claimed that some of the persons selected for the posts were associated with political parties and a few were facing criminal cases. He claimed that the selection was made in a non-transparent manner in the absence of any guidelines. The petitioner contended that Mr. Naik was a BJP member in the Shimoga Zila Parishad. He stated that Dr. Sajjanar had contested Assembly elections from Mundaragi constituency in 2004 and had a criminal case pending against him.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna of the Karnataka High Court refused to interfere in appointment of Karnataka State Information Commission (SIC) and dismissed the PIL.