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CIC may have its head soon: Centre to Delhi High Court

The CIC, which has remained headless for over 10 months, may soon have a new chief with the Centre informing Delhi High Court on Thursday that candidates for the posts of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners have been shortlisted and granted vigilance clearance.

New Delhi: The CIC, which has remained headless for over 10 months, may soon have a new chief with the Centre informing Delhi High Court on Thursday that candidates for the posts of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners have been shortlisted and granted vigilance clearance.

"Vigilance clearance from the respective cadre controlling authority in respect of the shortlisted serving officers and inputs from the Intelligence Bureau in respect of retired officers has been sought vide communications dated May 5, 2015 and May 2, 2015, respectively," Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain told the court.

The clearance has also been granted, he informed a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, adding that the matter now be put up before the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister as per the RTI Act, and the process would take another one or two months.

The goverment's response came after the court directed it to expedite the appointment process and inform it about the progress as the vacancies in Central Information Commission have led to a massive backlog of cases.

The Centre's counsel further said that the Chief IC and IC would be appointed by the President on the recommendations of the selection committee.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by RTI activists R K Jain, Lokesh K Batra and Subhash Chandra Agarwal alleging that no action has been taken on the issue despite two "distress" letters written by CIC to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The PIL filed through lawyers Prashant Bhushan has sought filling up of posts of Chief IC and subordinate staff in a time-bound frame.