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CIC to challenge Delhi HC decision in apex court

The Central Information Commission will move the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Delhi High Court scrapping the procedures followed by the transparency panel for disposal of appeals.



New Delhi: The Central Information Commission
will move the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Delhi
High Court scrapping the procedures followed by the
transparency panel for disposal of appeals.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of all
the Information Commissioners early this week.

The Commission while deciding to move the Apex Court has
taken cognisance of a Patna High Court ruling which had
allowed the State Information Commission to frame its own
rules for the conduct of its business.

"There seems to be a contradiction between Patna High
Court and Delhi High Court decisions. We have decided to
approach the Supreme Court so that the matter could be
clarified," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah
said today.

A decision by the Supreme Court will also bring
uniformity in the conduct of business of the Commissions
across the country, he said.

The Commission meanwhile has decided to continue with
its routine business and conduct daily hearings.

The Delhi High Court had last month struck down the
rules framed by the Chief Information Commissioner on
procedure for deciding appeals before it under the RTI, saying
the CIC has no power to enact such regulations under the
transparency law.

The order was passed on a plea of DDA seeking quashing
of Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations,
2007 enacted by the Commissioner to decide procedure for
special appeals before itself.

"The Chief Information Commissioner has no powers to
make rules under the RTI Act. Both the `appropriate
government` and the `competent authority` have been empowered
by the Rules to make rules to carry out provisions of the
Act," a bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Veena Birbal
had said.

"The CIC by formulating the regulations and prescribing
the procedure for deciding appeals, has clearly violated the
provisions of the RTI Act," the High Court had said.

Concerns were also expressed by one Information
Commissioner that the Delhi High Court ruling had impinged the
autonomy in the functioning of the panel.

"Not only autonomy in the functioning of the CIC has
thus been impinged upon but the future course of action, in
respect of protecting the rights of information seekers, has
been halted at the costs of jeopardizing the on-going RTI
movement launched by the civil society and strongly supported
by the UPA Government," M M Ansari said.

According to Ansari, the implications of the High Court
order was that a single or division bench cannot decide an
appeal before the Commission.

PTI

From Zee News

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