New Delhi: To ensure transparency in the appointment of the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and information commissioners, the Supreme Court on Friday issued certain directions for the process.
A bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer held that the process of filling vacancies for CIC’s and information commissioners at the central and state level should be completed within six months.
The process should start two months before vacancies come up and if the process for pending vacancies had already started, it should be completed in two or three months, it was held.
It was further held that the process of shortlisting and appointing candidates for information commissioners should be made public on the website to ensure transparency.
The court observed that talent and experience from varied fields should be considered while appointing information commissions and not be restricted to retired bureaucrats.
The court was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) by RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj seeking directions for transparency in the process of appointments of the CIC and information commissioners.
In July, the court had directed the Centre to file an affidavit indicating the number of posts it proposed to fill up and the timeline for the same. It had also asked the Centre the reason for not having made any appointments to the CIC pursuant to a 2016 advertisement.