Skip to main content

Tardy disposal of RTI cases, vacancies: Backlog in 26 commissions reach 2.55 lakh

By Our Representative 

Marking the 16th anniversary of the implementation of the top transparency law Right to Information (RTI) Act, the civil rights organisation, the Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) has said in a comprehensive report on the functioning of the information commissions across India that while three out of 29 information commissions (ICs) – in Jharkhand, Tripura and Meghalaya – are “completely defunct” as no new commissioners have been appointed upon the incumbents demitting office, three other commissions, Nagaland, Manipur and Telangana, are headless.
Titled "Report Card on the Performance of Information Commissions in India, 2021”, the report points out that as many as “13 commissions have an estimated waiting time of one year or more to dispose a matter”. Giving details, the report says, the Odisha State SIC would take six years and eight months to dispose a matter. “A matter filed on July 1, 2021 would be disposed in the year 2028 at the current monthly rate of disposal”, it adds.
Next is Goa, whose IC “would take five years and 11 months”, followed by Kerala, four years and 10 months, West Bengal four years and seven months, and for Maharashtra three years six months. “The estimated time required for disposal of an appeal/complaint in the Central Information Commission (CIC), which is the transparency watchdog of the Government of India, was one year and 11 months”.
Compiled on the basis of information received under the RTI Act, the report examines the performance of all 29 commissions in India in terms of 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 filed in each commission, frequency of violations penalised by commissions and transparency in their working.
The report says, “The long delays in disposal of cases can be attributed largely to two factors: vacancies in commissions and tardy rate of disposal by commissioners. While some commissions have fixed annual norms for disposal for themselves (the CIC has set a norm of 3,200 cases per commissioner annually), most information commissions have not adopted any norms regarding the number of cases a commissioner should deal with in a year.”
The report says, three posts of commissioners in CIC are vacant, even as the backlog of “appeals/complaints has been steadily increasing and currently stands at nearly 36,800 cases.” Among states, the SIC of Maharashtra tops the list. It has been functioning with just four information commissioners, including the chief, for the past several months, as a result of which “the number of pending appeals/complaints has risen from 46,000 in 2019 to 63,000 in December 2020 and 75,000 in May 2021.
According to the report, “The number of appeals and complaints pending on June 30, 2021 in the 26 information commissions, from which data was obtained, stood at 2,55,602. The backlog of appeals/complaints is steadily increasing in commissions. The 2019 assessment had found that as of March 31, 2019, a total of 2,18,347 appeals/complaints were pending in the 26 information commissions from which data was obtained.”

Comments

TRENDING

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

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. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.