The Access Initiative

Indian Supreme Court Ruling Effects Significant Change in RTI Law

By Carrie McKee (Posted: September 14, 2012)

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday to strengthen the ties of the judiciary in information commissions across India. According to the ruling, commissions must now operate in the form of two member benches – with one member having a legal background – and the leadership of the Central Information Commission must be filled by a retired High Court Chief Justice or Supreme Court Justice. Positions were previously held by bureaucrats.

The Central Information Commission is currently staffed by eight members (out of eleven available posts), none of whom have legal experience. The ruling resulted from a Public Interest Litigation filed by Nawit Sharma, challenging the lack of judicial requirements for those operating in a quasi-judicial field.

The ruling is attached below.

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