New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which brought the office of the law minister under the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva stayed the order till the next hearing on 23 August, while accepting the Centre’s argument that CIC had gone beyond its jurisdiction in bringing the office under the RTI Act.

The court also issued notice to the commission seeking its reply before the next date of hearing.

The court was hearing a challenge by the Centre on a CIC order on 12 March, which held that each and every minister of both the Centre and state governments was a public authority, within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

It further held that the Centre and states should provide necessary support to each minister, including designating some officers as Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities.

Calling the order bringing the office of the law minister as being ‘bad in law’, they alleged that the body had exceeded its mandate as under the RTI Act. It also alleged that through passing such directions, the CIC had violated the Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 and Transaction of Business Rules, 1961.

It added that the Centre had various mechanisms in place whereby a citizen could put forth his grievance/suggestions/representations before the minister or the concerned ministry.

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