A fresh writ petition challenging the appointment of Soni B. Thengamam as a State Information Commissioner was filed before the High Court on Thursday.

In his petition, D.B. Binu, general secretary, RTI Kerala Federation, said Mr. Thengamam was the assistant secretary of the Kollam committee of Community Party of India when the selection committee considered his name. He was not a person of eminence in public life, management, journalism or administration.

Mr. Binu said that when the Governor sent back the recommendation, the Law Secretary opined that there were no legal impediments to it. The Governor accepted the recommendation on the basis of this legal opinion. In fact, the selection panel had not considered afresh the recommendation after the file was returned.

He contended that the State government usurped the power of the committee. Bail denied

Justice V. Ramkumar dismissed a bail petition filed by K.P. Shaju, accused in a cheating and forgery case, who had alleged harassment by Deputy Inspector-General of Police S. Sreejith. Shaju was accused of obtaining a passport using forged documents. The petitioner said the police officer and he had been close associates and produced two Malayalam films. But the relationship became strained and the officer had been registering cases against him. The court said the relationship had turned sour only in 2007. There were cases against the petitioner from 2003.

Order to surrender

Acting on an anticipatory bail application, Justice V. Ramkumar directed K.S. Rajiv, a Kollam-based lawyer and accused in the case relating to the sub-inspector recruitment test scam, to surrender before the investigation officer on January 27 or 28. The prosecution case was that the petitioner had entered into a conspiracy to help Prakash Lal, the prime accused, in providing answers to certain exam candidates through mobile phone.

The court ordered that when he was produced before it, the magistrate court shall grant him bail on a bond for Rs.25,000 each with the two solvent sureties to the like amount.

Tar bill case

The court directed Jose Kannanchira, a Public Works Department contractor in Kozhikode in a case relating to forging of tar bills, to surrender before the investigation officer on January 27 or 28.

The magistrate court was directed to consider his bail application he same day or the next after he was produced.