SC asks Centre, states to submit status report on vacancies in information commissions

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre and State governments to submit the latest status reports of vacant positions in Information Commissions and sought the steps they have taken to fill up the vacancies.

In its 2019 judgement, the apex court had ordered filling up of vacancies in State and Central Information Commissions within a deadline.

A bench led by Justice S Abdul Nazeer was hearing the plea of RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj seeking implementation of the 2019 verdict on appointments to the information commissions under the Act.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, argued that the apex court had issued guidelines for timely filling up of all the posts in 2019 itself.

Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, representing the Centre, said the Central Information Commission had complied with the SC’s 2019 order and had made appointments in March 2020.

The Union government had filed an affidavit in the matter on April 24, 2020, Divan said.

The bench said that the Centre and states will have to give the details in the matter within four weeks.

The information commissions take up complaints and appeals by citizens who have been refused access to information, or who are not satisfied with the information they have received from public authorities.

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