Notice to Uttar Pradesh chief information commissioner

August 29th, 2008 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday sought suspended Uttar Pradesh chief information commissioner’s (CIC) response to a reference by the state governor seeking his removal for making uncharitable remarks against state’s Chief Minister Mayawati and other constitutional authorities.A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal asked CIC Justice Mohammed Asgar Khan to file his reply to Governor T.V. Rajeswar’s reference within six weeks.

The governor had made the reference to the apex court for Justice Khan’s removal from the post of CIC. The reference was made as the CIC cannot be removed without the direction of the apex court following a probe into various allegations against him.

Rajeswar made the reference after suspending Justice Khan from his post July 9 as per the provisions of the state’s Right to Information Act.

The governor made the reference for Justice Khan’s removal also on the grounds of his alleged autocratic behaviour vis-à-vis other information commissioners in the state information commission and his various others “irregular and illegal” acts of omission and commission.

According to the governor’s reference, Justice Khan, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court, appointed during the tenure of Mayawati’s predecessor Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government, had at least on two occasions made “uncalled for, objectionable and derogatory remarks against the chief minister, the cabinet secretary and the chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Advisory Council”.

He made these remarks during the hearing of a matter, first Oct 31 and later Nov 15, 2007, said the governor’s reference, adding Justice Khan’s diatribe against the state’s chief minister and other constitutional authorities amounted to “misbehaviour and incapacity” warranting his removal.

The governor, in his reference, made on the basis of complaints by the government and Justice Khan’s fellow information commissioners, also alleged that the CIC would often summon the matters decided by his colleagues and invariably reverse them as if he was an appellate authority to their judgements.

As per yet another allegation, Justice Khan had appointed around 40 lower grade officials and workers in the commission without issuing any advertisement for their appointment and by ignoring various mandatory principles, like reservation for backward classes and Dalit candidates, in the government appointment.

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