Kerala High Court dismisses petitions challenging Information Commissioners’ appointment

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016,10:59 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | The Kerala High Court has dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the process of appointment of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners in the state.

Dismissing the petitions Wednesday, Justice Mohammed Mushtaq said the court will examine the integrity of the election process. The court observed that there is nothing illegal in the recommendations made by the three-member selection committee which comprised Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Industry Minister P K Kunhalikutty and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly V S Achuthanandan.

The panel had met to shortlist the CIC and five Information Commissioners and the name of former DGP Vinson M Paul was recommended to the Governor with dissent from Achuthanandan. The court said though the Leader of Opposition made a protest note, no specific objection was made against the selectees. The selectees satisfied the criteria, it said. The court also added the high-level committee does not owe a duty to offer explanation for exclusion of other applicants. The bench said the selection panel has only recommended the names and if the petitioners are aggrieved, they can challenge the final selection at the court.

Petitioner S Somanathan Pillai had alleged the committee followed no procedure and recommended persons without assessing the merit of candidates and on political considerations and whims and fancies.