Apex Court Rules Against 4 Information Commissioners In TS, AP
New Delhi: Stating that the appointment of the four Information Commissioners’ by the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh government is against RTI Act, the apex court ordered all the four of them to demit office. The then Kiran Kumar Reddy government in 2013 February 6 issued GO No 75 appointing V Venkateswarlu, Imtiaz Ahmed, Tantia Kumari and Vijaya Nirmala as Information Commissioners.
These appointments were challenged by former Union Home Secretary Padmanabhaiah, Forum For Good Governance Padmanabha Reddy, Dr Rao Chelikani in the High Court. The High Court issued orders quashing the appointment of these four in September 2013.
All the four commissioners approached Supreme Court challenging the High Court Verdict and filed a special leave petition. After a trial in the apex court in October 2013, the Supreme Court stayed the orders of the High Court. The case has been going on since then and in the latest trial, Ramavaram Chandrasekhar Reddy who argued that all the four commissioners have a direct relation with political parties and three of them are continuing as Bar Council Members which goes against RTI Law. The three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Kehar agreeing with his argument and directed the four Commissioners to demit office immediately.
All the four commissioners were directly involved in politics. Vijaya Nirmala contested from Nuzividu on Praja Rajyam ticket in 2009 and lost. Imtiaz Ahmed contested from Pileru constituency in 2009 and was defeated. The other two are working in Congress for a long time. While the then government sent eight names to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan for clearance, he only cleared four names – Vijaya Babu, M Ratan, S Prabhakar Reddy and Madhukar Raj and refused to appoint other four raising doubts about their political affiliations.
All the four have a tenure of 10 months remaining. But the apex court refused to let them continue in their positions.