KOCHI: The Kerala High court on Tuesday directed the State Government to complete the process of appointment to the vacant posts of State Information Commissioner, within six weeks.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique issued the order while allowing a petition seeking a directive to the government to fill the three vacancies of Information Commissioner. According to the petitioner, three posts of State Information Commissioner were vacant. “Though the Right to Information Act has laid down the procedure for conducting appointment, the government is yet to complete the selection process. The three posts became vacant following the retirement of Kuriakose Kumbalakuzhi, M N Gunavardhana and Sasikumar. The public are suffering as the Commissioner is yet to take action on the applications pending before him,” stated the petitioner.
The State Government submitted that a committee consisting of the Chief Minster, Opposition Leader and Minister for Information and Technology was constituted for selecting the Commissioners. The government said steps were underway to short-list the candidates, and that a final decision would be taken without delay.
The Bench observed that no further steps were taken after constituting the committee on March 19, 2015. On account of non-functioning of the office, prejudice has been caused to the right of the public in general.