The functioning of the State Information Commission has come to a standstill as the appointment of five Information Commissioners remains in limbo. More than 12,600 RTI applications and appeals are pending for long before the commission, effectively undermining the implementation of the act in the state.

 

  Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Vinson M Paul had sent a letter to the Chief Secretary inviting his attention to the problems faced by the commission. Further delay in appointing five information commissioners would derail its functioning, he pointed out. 

 

The previous UDF government had prepared a list of candidates for the five vacancies in the information commission. But it was alleged that the nominations were political in nature and was challenged in the High Court. The court stayed the appointment of the commissioners following the controversy. The posts of the commissioners can only be filled subjected to the final court order.


Meanwhile, as many as 12,637 RTI petitions are pending before the State Information Commission. The differences with state government regarding the disclosure of cabinet decisions through RTI also dragged the commission into the court.
 

 Related: CPI warns Pinarayi Vijayan against subverting RTI
 

The CIC had issued an order on 15 June 2016 bringing cabinet decisions under RTI. The Kerala government approached the High Court seeking a cancellation of the order, triggering a debate in the state. The government argued that the cabinet decisions are exempted under Section 8(1)(i) of RTI Act.

 

The CPI, the second largest partner in the LDF Government had openly criticised the government stance and declaring that people had the right to know.