Thursday, March 10, 2011

Information commissioners cannot assume office:The Madras High Court

The Madras High Court on Thursday said three persons who have been appointed as Information Commissioners in the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission would not assume office till the disposal of a writ petition as per an undertaking given by the Advocate-General.

A Division Bench consisting of the Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam passed the interim order on a petition by an RTI activist S. Vijayalakshmi of Periyar Nagar here.

The petitioner had submitted that the procedure prescribed in the RTI Act had not been followed in the appointment of P.A. Ramaiah, C. Manoharan and A. Arumuga Nainar as Information Commissioners.

When the matter came up before the Bench, the Advocate-General, P.S. Raman, said the decision taken for appointing the three had been forwarded to the Election Commission through the State Chief Electoral Officer for ascertaining whether they could assume office or the government had to await the EC's decision in this regard.

The Bench made it clear that irrespective of the decision that may be taken by Election Commission the three would not assume office as Information Commissioners till the disposal of the writ petition as per the AG's undertaking.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 16. It ordered notice returnable by that date.

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