What was the motive to pass this judgement order and its compliance.



106.  For the elaborate discussion and reasons afore-recorded, we  pass  the
following order and directions:
1. The writ petition is partly allowed.

2. The provisions of Sections 12(5) and 15(5) of the Act of  2005  are  held
   to be constitutionally valid, but with the  rider  that,  to  give  it  a
   meaningful and purposive interpretation,  it is necessary for  the  Court
   to  ‘read  into’  these  provisions  some  aspects  without  which  these
   provisions are bound to offend the doctrine of equality.  Thus,  we  hold
   and declare that the expression ‘knowledge and experience’  appearing  in
   these provisions would mean and include a basic degree in the  respective
   field  and  the  experience  gained  thereafter.  Further,  without   any
   peradventure  and  veritably,  we  state  that  appointments  of  legally
   qualified, judicially trained and  experienced  persons  would  certainly
   manifest in more effective serving of the ends  of  justice  as  well  as
   ensuring better administration of justice by  the  Commission.  It  would
   render the adjudicatory process which involves critical  legal  questions
   and nuances of law, more adherent to justice and shall enhance the public
   confidence in the working of  the  Commission.     This  is  the  obvious
   interpretation of the language of these provisions and, in fact,  is  the
   essence thereof.

3. As opposed to  declaring  the  provisions  of  Section  12(6)  and  15(6)
   unconstitutional, we would prefer to  read  these  provisions  as  having
   effect  ‘post-appointment’.  In  other  words,  cessation/termination  of
   holding of office of profit, pursuing  any  profession  or  carrying  any
   business is a condition precedent to the appointment of a person as Chief
   Information Commissioner or Information Commissioner  at  the  Centre  or
   State levels.
4. There is an absolute necessity for the legislature  to  reword  or  amend
   the provisions of Section 12(5), 12(6) and 15(5), 15(6) of the Act.    We
   observe and hope that these provisions would be amended at  the  earliest
   by the legislature to avoid any ambiguity or impracticability and to make
   it in consonance with the constitutional mandates.

5.  We  also  direct  that  the  Central  Government  and/or  the  competent
   authority shall frame all practice and procedure related  rules  to  make
   working of the Information Commissions effective and in  consonance  with
   the basic rule of law.   Such rules  should  be  framed  with  particular
   reference to Section 27 and 28 of the Act within a period of  six  months
   from today.

6. We are of the considered view that it is  an  unquestionable  proposition
   of law that the Commission is a ‘judicial tribunal’ performing  functions
   of ‘judicial’ as well as ‘quasi-judicial’ nature and having the trappings
   of a Court.   It is an important cog and is part of  the  court  attached
   system of administration of justice, unlike a ministerial tribunal  which
   is more influenced and controlled and  performs  functions  akin  to  the
   machinery of administration.

7. It will be just, fair and  proper  that  the  first  appellate  authority
   (i.e. the senior officers to be nominated in terms of Section  5  of  the
   Act of 2005) preferably should be the persons possessing a degree in  law
   or having adequate knowledge and experience in the field of law.

8. The Information Commissions at the  respective  levels  shall  henceforth
   work in Benches of two members each.   One  of  them  being  a  ‘judicial
   member’, while the other an ‘expert member’.  The judicial member  should
   be a person possessing a degree in law, having a judicially trained  mind
   and experience in performing judicial functions.   A  law  officer  or  a
   lawyer may also be eligible provided he is a person who has practiced law
   at  least  for  a  period  of  twenty  years  as  on  the  date  of   the
   advertisement.  Such lawyer should also have experience in  social  work.
   We are of the considered view that the competent authority should  prefer
   a person who is or has been a Judge of the High Court for appointment  as
   Information Commissioners.  Chief Information Commissioner at the  Centre
   or State level shall only be a person who is or has been a Chief  Justice
   of the High Court or a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

9. The appointment of the judicial members to any of these  posts  shall  be
   made ‘in consultation’ with the Chief Justice of India and Chief Justices
   of the High Courts of the respective States, as the case may be.

10. The appointment of the Information Commissioners at both  levels  should
   be made from amongst the persons empanelled by the DoPT in  the  case  of
   Centre and the concerned Ministry in the case of a State.  The panel  has
   to be prepared upon due advertisement and on a rational basis  as  afore-
   recorded.

11. The panel so prepared by the DoPT or the concerned Ministry ought to  be
   placed before the High-powered Committee in terms of Section  12(3),  for
   final recommendation to the President of India.  Needless to repeat  that
   the High Powered Committee at the Centre and the State levels is expected
   to adopt a fair and transparent method  of  recommending  the  names  for
   appointment to the competent authority.

12. The selection process should be commenced at least  three  months  prior
   to the occurrence of vacancy.

13. This judgment shall have effect only prospectively.

14. Under the scheme of the Act of 2005, it is clear that the orders of  the
   Commissions are subject to judicial review before the High Court and then
   before the Supreme Court of India.   In  terms  of  Article  141  of  the
   Constitution, the judgments of the Supreme Court are law of the land  and
   are binding on all courts and tribunals.  Thus, it  is  abundantly  clear
   that the Information Commission is bound by the law of precedence,  i.e.,
   judgments of the High Court and the Supreme Court of India.  In order  to
   maintain judicial discipline and consistency in the  functioning  of  the
   Commission,  we  direct  that  the  Commission  shall  give   appropriate
   attention to the doctrine  of  precedence  and  shall  not  overlook  the
   judgments  of  the  courts  dealing  with  the  subject  and   principles
   applicable, in a given case.
           It is not only the higher court’s  judgments  that  are  binding
       precedents for the Information Commission,  but  even  those  of  the
       larger Benches of the Commission should be given due  acceptance  and
       enforcement by the smaller Benches of the Commission.   The  rule  of
       precedence is equally applicable to intra appeals  or  references  in
       the hierarchy of the Commission.


107.  The writ  petition  is  partly  allowed  with  the  above  directions,
however, without any order as to costs.                                          …………………………….,J.
                                                               [A.K. Patnaik]              j [Swatanter Kumar]
New Delhi;
September 13, 2012 Please take a glance of following link-


http://yogimpsingh.blogspot.com/2013/07/eight-posts-of-information.html

1 comment on What was the motive to pass this judgement order and its compliance.

  1. 12. The selection process should be commenced at least three months prior
    to the occurrence of vacancy.
    Hon'ble friends-What is the value of this point as more than two years ,the post of I.Cs. are lying vacant but concerned government is not making efforts in order to fill up vacant post.

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