Will fill all CIC posts on Dec. 11,Centre tells SC

Will fill all CIC posts on Dec. 11,Centre tells SC

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau08/12/2018 08:36

Appointments to fill at least four vacancies on the Central Information Commission will be finalised on December 11, the Centre told the Supreme Court this week, according to one of the petitioners in the case.

The government’s counsel also informed the court that the Centre intends to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act, said the petitioner Anjali Bhardwaj.

The 11-member Commission, the highest appeal body available to applicants seeking information under the RTI Act, is currently operating with only three members in the wake of multiple retirements.

The eight vacancies include the Chief Information Commissioner, who completed his tenure last month. “We also pointed out to the court that the Centre’s advertisement on CIC vacancies did not specify the salary and tenure, even though these are specifically defined in the RTI Act,” said Ms. Bhardwaj, who is co-convenor of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information.

While the Centre listed the RTI Amendments Bill, 2018, for introduction in the monsoon session of Parliament, Opposition MPs had protested, citing concerns that the proposed amendments to salary and tenure norms would compromise the independence of the commissions at the Central and State levels.

 Apart from the CIC, a number of State Information Commissions (SICs) are also operating with multiple vacancies, leading to a rising pendency of cases, petitioners told the apex court. “Number of vacancies not only in the CIC but also in the State Information Commissions are lying vacant and no effective steps are taken in filling of these vacancies.

 This state of affairs is throttling the functioning of the RTI Act,”the SC said in an order on December 3, directing the Centre and eight States to file status reports in a wee

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