While making appointments to the post of State Information Commissioner, the government should take note that persons having wide knowledge and experience in law are also considered, the Madras High Court has ordered.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, passed the order on a public interest litigation petition by C.R. Bhaskaran of T. Nagar here. The petitioner said the public approached the State Information Commission when the Public Information Officers failed to discharge their duties; but due to vacancies in the posts of Information Commissioner for several months, the public suffered.

The Bench said Sub-section (5) of Section 15 of the RTI Act prescribed the qualification for appointing State Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners. As per the provision, persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration or governance were eligible for appointment.

The Advocate-General, A. Navaneethakrishnan, prayed for time to get instructions in the matter and file a counter.

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks. It is expected that within that period the State would make appointment to the posts as per the legal provision.

“While making appointment to the posts of State Information Commissioner, the State should take note that persons having wide knowledge and experience in law are also considered for appointment to the said posts.”

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