Jabalpur: A division bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court here has issued notices to the central government`s Department of Personnel and Training, CM`s Secretariat, Governor`s office and general administration on a PIL challenging the appointment process of the chief information commissioner and sought a reply within four weeks.
A division bench of the High Court headed by acting Chief Justice Sushil Harkoli and Justice Alok Aradhe, on the petition filed by former DGP Arun Gurtoo and RTI activist Ajay Dubey, on Monday directed that "any appointments made by the government to the posts of state information commissioners (IC) shall be subject to the final decision of this Court."
The PIL was filed challenging the appointment of CIC and IC by the state government under Section 15 of the RTI Act, 2005 on multiple grounds.
The petitioners prayed restraining the state Government from proceeding ahead with the appointments sought to be carried out within four corners of the executive secretariat.
The PIL also challenged the constitutionality of sections 15(3) and 15(5) of the RTI Act, 2005, through which appointment procedure has been prescribed by the Central Government on the ground that State Information Commissions are a judicial body/court/tribunals clothed with the judicial powers.
The PIL further pleaded that existing eligibility criteria for appointment to the said posts under section 15(5) is extremely vague, open-ended and without any protective guidelines, so as to make the appointments purely judicial in nature with the involvement of High Court or Supreme Court in the appointment process.