New Delhi: A former information commissioner today moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on "operation" of its verdict which had stipulated that only sitting or retired chief justices of high courts or an apex court judge can head the Central and state information commissions.
In their interim application seeking stay of the apex court`s September 13, 2012 judgement, former information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi and National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy have primarily opposed the direction that Information Commissions (IC) should work in benches of two members and each bench should comprise of a legally trained member.
"The review petition needs to be decided expeditiously in the interest of the fundamental right to information and proper enforcement of Right to Information Act or at least the operation of the judgement needs to be stayed in so far as it lays down that Commissions should work in benches of two members and each bench should comprise of a legally trained member," the application said.
They have also said that with the Centre`s review petition against the apex court`s verdict still pending, a lot of uncertainty has been created and many ICs have stopped working in the absence of clarity of how they can function in view of the judgement.
"Commissions which have stopped functioning are Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh and Goa," the plea said.
They have also contended that due to the pendency of the review petition, there has been a "freeze" on fresh appointments of commissioners.
"Governments are also not sure about fresh appointments they can make. There are no commissioners in Madhya Pradesh and Goa. Even in other states, the process of appointing Information Commissioners has almost come to a halt," the plea said.
The Centre had moved the apex court for review of its verdict saying it is against the provisions of the Right to Information Act.