SC directs Centre, states to appoint information commissioners in CIC, SICs within 3 months

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New Delhi | December 16, 2019 1:34 PM

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submissions of lawyer Prashant Bhushan that despite the apex court's February 15 judgment, the Centre and state government have not appointed information commissioners in CIC and SICs.

ayodhya verdict, supreme court, ayodhya news, ayodhya verdictThe bench also directed authorities to put up on govt website the names of members of search committee for appointment of Central Information Commission’s information commissioners within two weeks.

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre and the state to appoint within three months information commissioners in the Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and said there was a need to evolve guidelines to stop misuse of the Right to Information Act. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submissions of lawyer Prashant Bhushan that despite the apex court’s February 15 judgment, the Centre and state government have not appointed information commissioners in CIC and SICs. “We direct the Centre and the state to conclude the appointment from today,” the bench which also comprised justice B R Gavai and Surya Kant said.

The bench also directed authorities to put up on govt website the names of members of search committee for appointment of Central Information Commission’s information commissioners within two weeks. During the hearing, the bench raised the issue of misuse of Right to Information Act by those who have no relation to the information sought for and said that there was a need for evolving some kind of guidelines.

“We are not against the RTI Act but we think it is necessary to evolve some kind of guidelines to regulate this,” the bench said. “People who are in no way connected to an issue file RTI. It sometimes amount to criminal intimidation, which is a nice word for blackmail. We are not against the right to information. But there is need for guidelines. It cannot be an unrivalled right,” it said.

The bench was hearing an interim application filed by one Anjali Bhardwaj seeking a direction to government authorities on implementation of top court’s order asking them to appoint information commissioners within a stipulated time and in a transparent manner.

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