RTI forum seeks transparency and fast disposal of pending cases

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Jul 2018 10:26:44



Staff Reporter

A public campaign has been started by RTI activists in State to strengthen ‘Right to information’ act. The RTI activist forum claimed that there are about 15,000 pending cases of RTI before the State Information Commission.They said that now forum is working on strengthening RTI in Madhya Pradesh through community involvement. They have chalked out few suggestions which includes demand for appointment of Information Commissioner and action and transparency on RTI pending cases and also to run parallel running a signature campaign in entire state .


They said that thousands of cases are pending before the State Information Commission in Bhopal Madhya Pradesh but the state government is not filling posts of the Commissioner. Even if the cases are heard before the commission, the time limit also matters very much. There are pending cases in Madhya Pradesh for the last seven years. It is also a unfortunate that in Madhya Pradesh the important responsibility of providing information to the common man, is not giving the information itself.They alleged that in Madhya Pradesh, the condition of Section 4 (self-declaration) is also very bad, most of the departments have not corrected their information.

The Madhya Pradesh Right to Information campaign (MCPRI) has taken up other issues claims Kanerar Anjali Bharadwaj from Delhi, the national campaigner for the Right to Information Act forum. She said that many people have come forward on transparency and accountability and are demanding information but the governments is yet to take substantial measure. Bhardwaj further alleged that government has not yet implemented the Whistle Blower Protection Act. Another activist Amrita Johari from Delhi said that they have undertaken a study the implementation of Right to Information across the country. It showed that in Madhya Pradesh Information Commission would take about 60 years to deal with the pending cases with the pace it is been taking the issue. But, on the contrary, the information sought by the Madhya Pradesh Information Commission for a recent study has not been given. Madhya Pradesh’s page is empty in the national report of 2018.

RTI activist Rajiv Khare, who came from Satna said that every year 40-60 lakh people are applying under the Right to Information Act but not getting information. Right to Information activists are being treated as enemies. Sushil Jaswani, who came from Shahdol said that when the Central Commission has decided that he will hear 3,200 cases in a year, then Madhya Pradesh Information Commission should make such a scale for himself. Ashish Chaturvedi of Gwalior who extracted the crucial documents related to the VYAPAM, said that the governments are monitoring RTI activist and the government should give protection. He said that Public Information Officers leak information in many cases. In the matter of leaking information to the Public Information Officer, we have probably filed the first FIR in the country.

Roli Shivhare , associated with MCPRI said that the need for an organization of information rights activists in the state was felt for all the above issues, in this connection an organization has been formed which is Madhya Pradesh Right to Information Jan Abhiyan. This organization currently has partners with 15 districts. While working on issues related to transparency and accountability, this organization will keep an eye on the functioning of the commissions besides making the public aware. RTI activists will raise their voices against attacks on RTI activist and also gearing up to approach to authorities with memorandum.