National Federation of Information Commissions
in India

Supreme Court stays part of its verdict on appointments in information commissions

New Delhi: While hearing an interim application filed by former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi and activist Aruna Roy, the Supreme Court has stayed a part of its own judgment in Namit Sharma v. Union of India (2013(1) SCC 745) which mandated that only a sitting or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a Supreme Court judge could head the Central and State Information Commissions.

The stay order was passed on 15th April 2013 by a Division Bench of Justices A.K.Patnaik and A.K.Sikri and it will continue during the pendency of the review petition filed against the judgment in Namit Sharma [Review Petition (C) No. 2309 of 2012.] The apex court passed the interim order, saying it will be subject to the outcome of the petitions filed by the Centre and others seeking review of its verdict on appointment of information commissioners.

"We make it clear that subject to orders that may be finally passed after hearing the review petitions, the competent authority will continue to fill up the vacant posts of information commissioners in accordance with the Act and in accordance with the judgement ... except sub-paras which we have stayed.

"This is to ensure that functioning of the information commissioners in accordance with the Act and the judgement is not affected during the pendency of the review petitions," it said.

The stayed sub paras of the apex court's September 13, 2012 judgement had stipulated that information commissions should work in benches of two members and each bench should comprise of a legally trained member, who is to be appointed in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and chief justices of the high courts of states concerned.

The bench also clarified in its order that "the chief commissioners already functioning will continue to function until the disposal of the review petitions".

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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:51  

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