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How do you appoint CIC officials, asks SC

Vacancies delaying work: petitioner

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to disclose the process for appointment of Central Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners, including the names of candidates who applied and who were shortlisted.

The government informed a Bench led by Justice A.K. Sikri that it had so far received 65 applications for the post of the Central Information Commissioner and 280 for the post of Information Commissioners.

The petition, filed by Anjali Bhardwaj, alleged that the Central and State governments “have attempted to stifle the functioning of the Right to Information Act by failing to do their statutory duty of ensuring appointment of commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the State Information Commissions in a timely manner.”

Huge backlog

“This is despite huge backlogs of appeals and complaints in many information commissions across the country. Due to the non-appointment of Information Commissioners, several information commissions take many months, and in some cases even years, to decide appeals and complaints, with the accumulation of pending appeals/complaints, thus defeating the entire object of the RTI Act,” the petition said.

Currently, there are four vacancies in the Central Information Commission and over 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending.

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