SC directs filling up posts in info panels in 6 months

SC directs filling up posts in info panels in 6 months

The Supreme Court on Friday directed for filling up all vacant posts of information commissioners in the states as well as the Centre within a period of six months.

It also directed the candidates belonging to streams other than the retired government servants should also be considered for the posts.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer directed that the particulars of the candidates who applied for the posts must be disclosed on the website.

The court directed that the search committee should make the criteria public for better governance.

It said the process for appointment in transparency panels must start two months before the vacancies were to occur.

The court said wherever the process for filling up vacancies were on, it must be completed within three months.

"We find the strength in the State Information Commission was less, so all the appointments must be completed in six months," the bench said, pronouncing its judgement on a petition filed by RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj.

On January 30, the top court had asked the Centre as to why only retired or sitting bureaucrats were being shortlisted by the search committee for appointment as information commissioners.

Bhardwaj, along with Commodore Lokesh Batra (retired) and Amrita Johri, have claimed that over 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending with the CIC as posts of information commissioners were lying vacant.