Madras High Court issues notice to the Centre regarding vacancy in CIC
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Jawaharlal Shanmugam of Tiruvanmiyur in the Madras High Court seeking directions seeking to fill up the vacant post of the Chief Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission (CIC). The post has remained vacant since August, 2014 following the superannuation of the then Chief Information Commissioner. The petitioner contended that mounting pendency in the disposal of appeals which in effect defeats the very purpose of enacting the RTI Act. The petition referred to the details in the Central Information Commission’s website depicting mounting penedencies pending before the CIC. The RTI application and the first appeal of the petitioner was rejected by the Income Tax department forcing him to file a second appeal to the CIC, New Delhi. Though the appeal was registered, he did not receive any communication from the CIC amidst scores of similar cases.
As per Section 12(4) of the RTI Act, “The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the Central Information Commission shall vest in the Chief Information Commissioner who shall be assisted by the Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the Central Information Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other authority under this Act.” The petitioner alleged that the CIC holds important portfolios and the vacancy adds to the woes of people seeking RTI replies.
The Madras High Court issued a notice to the Centre on the PIL.
Readers may recall that the ASG had assured the Delhi High Court that the vacancy would be filled in 8 weeks. Read more at - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/asg-appointments-cic-be-done-twelve-weeks#.VTxgftKqqko