Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why Supreme Court nixed appointment of four RTI Commissioners

The Hans India‎‎: Telangana: Saturday, April 22, 2017.
Four Information Commissioners of the AP-Telangana Information Commission are heading home as the Supreme Court dismissed their SLP challenging the AP High Court judgment that quashed their appointments.
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by four Information Commissioners (ICs) of the Andhra Pradesh Information Commission (APIC) challenging the 2013 order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashing their appointments.
The SC dismissed their SLP after staying the HC order in 2013. The ICs continued in their posts and have completed more than four years of their 5-year tenure. As their SLP is now dismissed, they have to head home.
In 2012, the then Congress government in the unified state of Andhra Pradesh began the process of appointing Information Commissioners to the APIC after a couple of writ petitions were filed in the HC. The writ petitions were filed because of the impending vacancies in the APIC and that the constitutional and statutory obligations of the APIC cannot be discharged unless the commissioners were appointed.
The government of the day went ahead with the selection of 8 persons for the post of ICs and sent those names to the Governor. As per sec 15(3) of the RTI act, a committee consisting of the Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and a Cabinet Minister recommends the names to the Governor.
The Governor approved four names, and asked the selection committee to reconsider the recommendation of the following four persons as he felt that their selection appeared to attract the infirmities under Sec 15(6) of the RTI act: Varre Venkateswarlu; Lam Thanthiya Kumari; Imtiaz Ahmed; and Vijaya Nirmala.