HC raps info officer for ‘improper conduct’

Days after he was instructed not to take up fresh cases,Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi was last week issued a notice

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published:June 8, 2012 12:39 am

Days after he was instructed not to take up fresh cases,Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi was last week issued a notice “in his personal capacity” by the Delhi High Court on a petition by the CIC’s Joint Secretary,Law. In this case,a High Court judgment severely censured Gandhi,who is scheduled to retire on July 6,for “improper conduct” and “lack of judicial discipline”.

Setting aside a decision by Gandhi in July 2009,Justice Vipin Sanghi criticised him for passing an order on a subject after disagreeing with the co-ordinate benches of CIC. The court said that judicial discipline required Gandhi to refer the matter to a larger bench for a final decision.

“In the present case,Gandhi also demonstrated complete lack of judicial discipline while rendering the impugned decisions,” said Justice Sanghi,noting that there were already two decisions by other Information Commissioners on the issue.

“If Gandhi had a different view in the matter,which he was entitled to hold,judicial discipline demanded he should have recorded his disagreement with the view of A N Tiwari,Information Commissioner,and,for reasons to be recorded by him,required the constitution of a larger bench to re-examine the issue,” he noted.

The High Court was deciding an appeal by the Registrar of Companies of Delhi and Haryana governments against the CIC’s order to supply to a RTI applicant information relating to a company.

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