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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, September 13, 2012
Holding that central and state information commissions perform quasi-judicial functions, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to appoint people from judicial background also as its members.

A bench of justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar also lifted the stay on appointment of information commissioners.

The bench passed the order on a PIL challenging section 12 and 15 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 enumerating the qualifications needed for the appointment of members to the commissions.

The bench, however, refused to quash the sections but asked the government to modify it so that people from judicial background are also preferred for the post.

Currently, none of the eight members of the central information commission (CIC), including the chief information commissioner are from judicial background.

The CIC comprises one chief information commissioner and 10 information commissioners.

Presently, three posts of information commissioners are vacant in the CIC.

The petition filed by one Namit Sharma had contended that since the work of the CIC under the RTI Act is mainly connected with the law, members in the transparency panel should have judicial background.

However, government had opposed the petition contending that it could not be made mandatory that the members should have judicial background.