The Madhya Pradesh high court on Monday served two weeks’ returnable notices on State Chief Information Commissioner Iqbal Ahmed during hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging appointment process of state chief information commissioner (CIC) and nine information commissioners (ICs).
Ahmed was impleaded as respondent into the PIL in a previous hearing. The PIL has been filed by former RDVV vice chancellor and ex-DGP Arun Gurtu and RTI activist Ajay Dubey. In May 14, 2012, HC issued notices on the respondents during hearing on the PIL.
The apex court has laid down certain criterion in the Namit Sharma Vs Union of India (UOI) and others case in September 2012 to be followed by the governments in the appointments of CIC and information commissioners, the petitioners’ counsel Siddartha Radhelal Gupta said.
The apex court directives say that the appointment of CICs and ICs at the central/ state level should be done in a transparent manner by issuing advertisement inviting applications from all concerned, Gupta said.
Furthermore, the apex court directed after receiving various applications, the panel should be prepared of the eligible persons, which should be of the judicial background, primarily former Chief Justice or judges of the high court.
Also the apex court directed the appointment shall be in consultation with the chief justice of the concerned high court, who must have a say in the candidate to be appointed as CIC of state information commission of any state.
Gupta said Ahmed does not fulfill any of the apex court’s criterions. He is still appointed as CIC. Thus his appointment is a sort of backdoor entry and a political one, the counsel added.