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Plea filed in SC on long existence of six vacancies including CIC

The Supreme Court of India. File   | Photo Credit:

An urgent application has been filed in the Supreme Court about the long existence of six vacancies, including that for the Chief Information Commissioner in the apex Right to Information body — the Central Information Commission — even as the backlog of cases has mounted to over 36,600.

Activist Anjali Bhardwaj, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, said the six vacancies of Information Commissioner, including that of the Chief, despite an order of the Supreme Court way back on December 16 last year to the government to fill up all the posts in three months.

Ms. Bhardwaj said the post of the Chief Information Commissioner has been vacant since August 27, 2020.

The vacancies frustrate the legislative intent of the Right to Information Act, means to usher in transparency in governance and choke the right of the ordinary people to information.

“As of October 15, 2020, the number of pending appeals/complaints is more than 36,600. It appears the Union of India is resorting to issuing fresh advertisements instead of filling all the advertised vacant posts to cause undue delay in the appointments thereby frustrating peoples’ right to information,” the application contended.

It said the situation on the State Information Commissions is none the better. The Maharashtra Information Commission is functioning with only five commissioners with a backlog of nearly 60,000 appeals and complaints as on July 31, 2020. Its Odisha counterpart is functioning with four commissioners despite a pendency of 15,000 appeals and complaints.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 3:33:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-filed-in-sc-on-long-existence-of-six-vacancies-including-cic/article32896587.ece

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