Rajasthan government to appoint Information Commissioners under the RTI Act
On a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue of appointment of the Information Commissioners in the Rajasthan State Information Commission (SIC), a division bench headed by chief justice Arun Kumar Mishra of the Rajasthan High Court had directed the state government on 1st October, 2012 to apprise the court of the steps it had taken to comply with the SC verdict. In the Namit Sharma case, the Supreme Court ruled that the second appeals under the RTI Act can be heard only by benches comprising of two Information Commissioner. On behalf of the state government, the additional advocate general Sushil Kumar Sharma told the bench that the process of appointment of the Information Commissioners would be completed early. The Rajasthan state government has given an assurance to the Rajasthan High Court that it would comply with the recent Supreme Court judgment regarding appointment of at least minimum number of Information Commissioner required under the Right to Information (RTI) Act within the next three weeks.
Currently, the Rajasthan State Information Commission (SIC) comprises of just the Chief Information Commissioner with no Information Commissioner. As per the RTI Act, there can be a maximum of 10 Information Commissioners in a state. After the SC judgment, the work at Information Commissions has come to a standstill in Rajasthan apart from many other states. There are around 8000 appeals under the RTI are pending with the Rajasthan SIC.
An application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act before the state administrative reforms department by the Aruna Roy asking for the steps initiated to appoint the Information Commissioners did not evoke any reply.