This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com
Earlier this week, the Delhi high court admitted a plea against the Central government to fill vacancies in the Central Information Commission—the institution of second appeal in the Right to Information (RTI) architecture—in a “time-bound” manner.
Of the 10 posts of information commissioners, three have remained vacant through the tenure of this government. The top post—which handles cases related to the PMO and Cabinet Secretariat, among others—was empty for about nine months. Vijai Sharma was appointed in June, but only for six months as he retires in December.
The experience of the past shows that non-appointments, or delays in appointment, leads to a pile up of cases, and irrevocably shifts the goalpost of pendency.