HC pulls up state over ‘vague explanation’ in delay of appointment to TS Information Commission board

The previous CIC retired on April 21, 2022, and one of the ICs retired on February 24, 2023.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  20 Jun 2023 12:29 PM GMT
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Hyderabad: The High Court Division Bench, comprising chief justice Ujjal Bhuyan justice N Tukaramji, on Tuesday sought to know from the advocate general/additional advocate general of Telangana on the steps taken by the BRS government towards the appointment of the chief information commissioner (CIC) and the information commissioners (IC) to the Telangana State Information Commission as mandated under the RTI Act, 2005.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, after going through the affidavit filed by the chief secretary said, “The affidavit is as vague as it can be,” because the CS in her affidavit said that the file pertaining to the appointment of CIC and IC are under active consideration by “the highest competent authority.”

The affidavit, doesn’t mention as to when the proposal was submitted, to whom it was submitted to and at what stage the file is in.

The government counsel informed the court that the staff working in the TS Information Commission are attending to the grievances of the litigants regularly. The chief justice then sought to know from the state government counsel as to who will pass orders on the appeals filed by a litigant, in the absence of the IC and CIC.

The previous CIC retired on April 21, 2022, and one of the ICs retired on February 24, 2023. Since then, the posts to the highest offices have been vacant and the state should inform the court the date by which it will appoint the CIC and the ICs.

The Division Bench was hearing the plea filed by the NGO Forum for Good Governance represented by secretary M Padmanabha Reddy, seeking directions to the BRS government to appoint the CIC and the ICs to the Telangana State Information Commission.

The petitioner argued that even after the retirement of the CIC the state has not taken any steps to appoint their successors.

Due to non-appointment of the officials to the Information Commission, there is huge pendency of cases in the TS information commission and the litigants’ grievances are not redressed. The petitioner sought a direction to the BRS government from the HC to expedite the process of appointment of officials. The case was adjourned to July 5, 2023.

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