New Delhi, February 25
In a rare admonition for the state of affairs in its own backyard, the top appellate authority for RTI matters, the CIC, has pulled up its joint secretary (law) and other officials for a “flagrant violation” of the transparency law.
The rebuke came from Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha when he observed serious violations of the processes and provisions of the RTI Act while hearing an appeal filed by legal and transparency activist RK Jain.
Jain had sought to know from the Central Information Commission the action taken on 113 communications received in its legal cell from its dak (mail) section during April-June, 2013. But he was not provided with any information. “It is indeed mortifying to note that the public authority which ought to be setting examples for other public authorities to follow in matters of the RTI Act has lent itself such a disdainful scenario of flagrant violation of the provisions of the RTI Act,” Sinha said.
During appeal proceedings before Sinha, Jain said he wanted to emphasise on the massive problem of dak receipt management in legal cell of the CIC and expressed serious concern over the “deplorable” projection of the cell before the higher courts.
Underlining “the absurdity” in the case, Sinha noted that central public information officer (CPIO) and the first appellate authority (FAA) were the same person in this case. According to the RTI Act, however, only a senior official of the department can adjudicate the first appeal against the response furnished by the CPIO. — PTI
News Courtesy : TOI,Tribune