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AP gets apex court notice on delay over RTI panel

AP gets apex court notice on delay over RTI panel
Highlights

The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and eight states in a petition relating to filling up of vacancies in the Central Information Commission...

New Delhi: The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and eight states in a petition relating to filling up of vacancies in the Central Information Commission as well as Information Commissions in eight states.

Filed by Anjali Bhardwaj, Commodore Lokesh Batra, and Amrita Johri, the petition raises the issue of the high number of vacancies in Information Commissions in about eight states. The petitioners were represented by advocates Kamini Jaiswal and Pranav Sachdeva.

This matter was heard by a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, with the court issuing notice to the Centre as well as the states in question. The court asked the assistant solicitor general Pinky Anand appearing for the Centre as to why were there no appointments despite such high number of vacancies.

It is the case of the petitioner that while the functioning of the information commissions is necessary for the effective implementation of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) and the high number of vacancies in these commissions is leading to the crippling of the purpose of this Act.

“The Government of India and state governments have attempted to stifle the functioning of the RTI Act by failing to do their statutory duty of ensuring appointment of commissioners in the Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions, in a timely manner”, reads the petition.

The petition highlights the abysmally high number of pending appeals and complaints in the petition and even points out that while most State information commissions are working with a high number of vacant positions, Andhra Pradesh SIC is completely non-functional with not even a single information commissioner appointed.

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