'Information chiefs should have judicial background'

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that independent persons with judicial background should be appointed as information commissioners instead of loyal bureaucrats amid the centre’s opposition to the recent apex court verdict saying that the court cannot direct legislature to amend a law.

“It would be good if independent person with legal background is appointed in the commission and not only the retired bureaucrats who are loyal to the government,” a bench of Justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said, adding that the Right to Information (RTI) Act needed to be “rectified”.

The court was hearing a review petition filed by the Union government against the verdict delivered on September 13 changing status of the Central Information Commission (CIC) as judicial panel directing it to function in a bench of two with one member having necessarily judicial background among other directions.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati, appearing for the centre, submitted that it was well-settled a principle of law that the legislature cannot be asked to amend a particular law.
The court had, in its judgment, passed a slew of directions to the government including an instruction to amend the provisions of the law.

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