The Delhi High Court on Friday agreed to consider a plea seeking direction to the central government to fill three vacant posts of information commissioners in Central Information Commission (CIC) in a “time bound” manner.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw said it will pass an order on the plea after hearing submission of both the central government and the petitioners including Right to Information activists R.K. Jain, Lokesh Batra and Subhash Chandra Agarwal.
During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, contended that three vacancies of information commissioners were left unfilled despite assurance given to the high court in May by the government.
He also challenged the central government’s September 9 circular inviting applications for the post of chief information commissioner and information commissioners – as the current one will retire on December 1.
He said this terminated the process of selection and appointment of three information commissioners initiated in February last year for which more than 550 applications were received at two stages. During the hearing, central government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh said pendency of cases in the CIC has “fallen” after the recent appointments of a chief information commissioner and information commissioner.
The number of pending cases in the CIC has come down from over 38,000 cases in May 2015 to 35,122 currently.