`Info panels should be manned by judicial people`
The Supreme Court held that the Central Information Commission and state information commissions are forums performing quasi-judicial functions.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday held that the Central Information Commission and state information commissions are forums performing quasi-judicial functions and thus these should be manned by people with judicial background.
The court said that one of the two members hearing a plea challenging the denial of information has to be from judicial background.
The apex court bench of Justice AK Patnaik and Justice Swatanter Kumar also suggested to Parliament to either rework or amend the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005, dealing with the criteria and appointment of the central and state level commission members.
Pronouncing the judgement, Justice Swatanter Kumar said the appointment of the judicial members of the CIC would be done in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, and similarly for the state information commissions in consultation with the chief justices of the respective high courts.
The court said lawyers with 20 years of experience could also be considered for appointment to central and state level commissions.
The apex court order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking quashing of Clause five of Section 12 and Clauses 5 and six of Section 15 of the RTI Act, prescribing qualifications for the people who are eligible for appointment to central and state information commissions.