Jabalpur: Madhya Pradesh High Court directed the Madhya Pradesh Government on Wednesday to fill up vacant posts of commissioners in the State Information Commission.

There are 10 posts of Information Commissioners (ICs) and one post of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) in the Madhya Pradesh Information Commission (MPIC) which currently functions without its chief and other commissioners.

"The court has directed the state government to advertise vacant posts of CIC and ICs in the commission. The advertisement has to be put out within three weeks," petitioner's counsel Siddharta Gupta said.

RTI activist Ajay Dubey had filed a PIL before the high court seeking appointments of CIC and ICs through public advertisements. "In 2005, the Madhya Pradesh government had appointed T N Shrivastava as CIC who had been superannuated in 2006. The commission was without its CIC between 2006-07.

In 2007, P P Tiwari was appointed as CIC and D C Jugran, Iqbal Ahmad and Mahesh Pandey were appointed as ICs, all of whom retired in last year," Dubey said. A total of 9,946 appeals and 1,495 complaints are pending against various state government departments for failing to give information sought by applicants under the RTI Act, as per official documents updated till September 2012.

According to documents accessed by Dubey through RTI, the Madhya Pradesh government has sought guidance from the Ministry of Personnel, Delhi to implement a Supreme Court judgement which said that only retired judges could be appointed head of the transparency panel.

The apex court had also said that a two-member bench, comprising a member with a legal background, could hear appeals pending with the commission.


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