STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: Justice M.K Hanjura on Wednesday stayed order of State Information Commission (SIC) taking serious view on the non-appearance of High Court Public Information Officer (PIO) in second appeal listed before SIC on August 16, 2017.
The stay order was passed in a petition filed by J&K High Court seeking stay on the operation of the order of SIC in which it had observed that only N.A Beigh, Counsel for the respondents attended the hearing in the second appeal on aforesaid date and neither the PIO nor the appellant, Ajay Kumar appeared before SIC. The case was adjourned with directions to registry to convey the observations of SIC to the PIO J&K High Court for his non- appearance before the Commission and impress upon him to ensure his attendance in the hearings of the Commission as and when the cases/ 2nd appeals pertaining to the J&K High Court are listed for hearing. The 2nd appeal may now be listed for hearing on the next available date, SIC had observed.
Upon this, Justice Hanjura observed that Information Commissioner has to weigh the pros and cons of each appeal on its own merits and form a rational opinion before passing any order. “The SIC is not vested with in bridled powers to pass sweeping orders like the instant order in question.
SIC has to pass individual orders in each and every appeal and such orders need to be in consonance with Section 15 (3) of Right to Information Act which provides that SIC has the power to summon and enforce the attendance of persons only for the purpose of giving oral or written evidence on oath and for producing documents, requiring the discovery and inspection of documents, requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any Court or office, issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents and any other matter which may be prescribed”, the court observed and added that in the instant case nothing of this nature was required to be done by the PIO or First appellant Authority of the High Court. Observing that the direction of SIC, prima-facie appears to be without jurisdiction, court directed that subject to the objections of the other side and till the next date of listing before the Bench, the operation of the impugned order dated August 16, 2017, shall stay.
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