Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh,March 03 : The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Mr. Shivraj V. Patil, after inaugurating, Video Conference facility in the office of Punjab State Information Commission, said that this initiative would facilitate the aged, handicapped, poor and people unable to travel to Chandigarh from far off places.
Mr. Patil said democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information is vital to the functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed. The Right to Information Act 2005, therefore, empowers a common man to avail the information involving public interests and also redressed of the grievances.
Mr. Patil further said that the RTI Act enacted by the Government of India, has very significant feature with statutory provisions to ensure greater and more effective access to information to every individual. It has been thoughtfully structured to ensure transparency, openness and accountability in the functioning of Central and State Government Departments.
The Chief Information Commissioner of State Information Commission, Punjab, Mr. R.I. Singh the cause lists of all the cases for hearing are placed on the website of the Commission in advance. The order/interim orders pronounced by the different benches are displayed on the website immediately after their pronouncement. These orders can be accessed Commissioner-wise. Giving more details regarding the working of Commission, Mr. R.I.Singh said up to 31st December 2009, 1,35,450 applications were filed before the Public Information Officers of the various public authorities in the State. Out of these, only 3816 applications for information were rejected. The rejection percentage is only 2.81. It indicates that more than 97% of the information seekers got the information. Mr. Singh said that in the first phase, the Video Conference facility will be utilized for the case relating to the public authorities with their HQs in the three border Districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepur. It will be extended to all other Districts in the State in the near future. Prominent amongst others who were present in the function included Mrs. Meenakshi Chaudhary, Haryana Chief Information Commissioner and Mr. M.P. Singh, Principal Secretary to Governor.