The Andhra Pradesh High Court Thursday set aside appointment of four information commissioners and directed the state government to appoint new commissioners within six months.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Kalyan Jyothi Sengupta passed the orders on a petition, which challenged the appointments on the ground that all the four are active in politics.
The court asked the state government to make fresh appointments as per Right to Information (RTI) Act and the Supreme Court guidelines.
The court set aside the appointment of Imtiaz Ahmed, Tantiya Kumari, M. Vijaya Nirmala and V. Venkateswarlu. They along with four others were appointed as commissioners by the state government in Feb last year.
Following an outcry by the RTI activists and NGOs over appointment of people with political background, Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan in Feb this year approved only four names.
However, the ignoring governor’s objections, the Congress government sent back the file, leaving no option for him but give the approval to all appointments.
RTI activists and NGO alleged that the government violated the spirit of the RTI Act by appointing individuals with political background.
The information commissioners were selected by a panel which consisted Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha and Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu.