At present there are four vacancies in the CIC and four more will be created by December this year, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also asked the Centre to explain why the posts in CIC remain vacant even as the advertisement for the same was issued in 2016.
In the letter marked to all his fellow commissioners, Sridhar Acharyulu requested the CIC to send an official communication to the government asking for withdrawal of the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the sources said.
Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda charged the BJP-led central government with “destroying” institutions and legislation of transparency and accountability in the country.
The proposed amendments say that the tenure, rank and perks of Central and State Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners will be decided by the central government.
Six out of seven political parties — the BJP, Congress, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPM — for which information was sought by the applicant were brought under the ambit of the RTI Act by a full bench of the commission on June 3, 2013.
The role of the state council is to promote the use of RTI in Delhi, review the operation of the Act, review the administrative arrangements, and advise government on matters related to RTI.
Hyderabad-based RTI activist C J Karira had sought information pertaining to corruption in several top offices of the country from the CBI, but the agency had said since it is exempted from the RTI Act, it will not share such records.
Advisor to the home ministry Ashok Prasad had said that the CRPF DG had received the report and would send it to the home ministry.
In March, CIC had also ordered that ‘oath of secrecy’ be replaced with ‘oath of transparency’ so that the minister respects the right to information of citizens.
This is the third decision the Congress government in Kerala has taken on the eve of the election notification, but was forced to withdraw under pressure from the party and the Opposition.
In the present fiscal, the amount dropped by 80 per cent with only Rs 1.67 crore being spent this year.
The Commission wants the Chief Information Commissioner to device a mechanism to handle applications appearing to be ‘vexatious’ even as it highlighted that RTI Act has not defined the term.
The Right to Information Act was implemented on October 12, 2005. Over the last decade, it has transformed the functioning of the government machinery in several ways.
But denial of proper information, rising pendency of cases dilute the impact.
Ten years on, it is a weapon for the citizen facing arbitrary power. It needs to be protected, taken further.