Skip to main content

RTI: 9 of 29 information commissions headless, backlog of cases 'steadily' increasing

By Our Representative
Marking 15 years of implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Satark Nagrik Sangathan, a civil rights organization, has said that nine out of 29 (31%) information commissions in India are headless, i.e. they are functioning without a chief. “These include the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and State Information Commissions (SICs) of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa, Manipur, Telangana, Jharkhand, Tripura and Nagaland”, it notes in a new report.
The report says, two SICs – of Jharkhand and Tripura – are “completely defunct” as no new commissioners have been appointed upon the incumbents demitting office, regretting lack of persons in the commissions' top positions at the Centre and states has led to a situation where “number of appeals and complaints pending on July 31, 2020 in the 20 information commissions, from which data was obtained, stood at 2,21,568.” 
Pointing out that "the backlog has been steadily increasing as compared to the findings last year”, the report further says, as many as 1,78,749 appeals and complaints were registered between April 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020 by 21 information commissions for whom relevant information was available. “During the same time period, nearly two lakh cases (1,92,872) were disposed of by 22 commissions for whom information could be obtained”, it adds.
“Using the average monthly disposal rate and the pendency in commissions, the time it would take for an appeal/complaint to be disposed was computed. The estimates shows that Odisha SIC would take seven years and eight months to dispose a matter. In Jharkhand SIC, it would take four years and one month, while in Maharashtra, CIC, Rajasthan and Nagaland it would take two years or more. The assessment shows that 9 commissions would take more than 1 year to dispose a matter”, the report asserts.
The report finds that “penalty was imposed in just 2.2% of the cases disposed by information commissions”, lamenting, such state of affairs continues when the law has “empowered millions of people to seek information and hold the government accountable.”
Calling information commissions the final appellate authority and are mandated to safeguard and facilitate people’s fundamental right to information, the report examines the performance of all 29 commissions in India in terms of the number of commissioners working in each commission; the number of appeals and complaints registered and disposed by them; number of pending cases; estimated waiting time for the disposal of an appeal/complaint; frequency of violations penalised by commissions and transparency in their working.

Comments

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

Banned Maoist party protests in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, claims support across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  Despite being a banned and designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 2009, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is said to have successfully implemented a one-day bandh across Kolhan division in Jharkhand on July 10th, with repurcussions in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The bandh was called to protest against alleged police brutality in the Kolhan-Saranda region.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".

Hindutva economics? 12% decline in manufacturing enterprises, 22.5% fall in employment

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The messiah of Hindutva politics, Narendra Modi, assumed office as the Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. He pledged to transform the Indian economy and deliver a developed nation with prosperous citizens. However, despite Modi's continued tenure as the Prime Minister, his ambitious electoral promises seem increasingly elusive.