Report on the implementation of the RTI law – Sangri Today
Report on the implementation of the RTI Act: more than 40 information commissioner positions are vacant in the country and there is no chief information commissioner in 2 states
Out of 165 information commissioner positions in the country, 42 positions are vacant. Of these, a maximum of 4-4 seats are vacant in West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra and 3-3 seats are vacant in Uttarakhand, Kerala, Haryana and Central. There is no Chief Information Commissioner in two states, Gujarat and Jharkhand. Women hold less than 5% of the total Information Commissioner positions. This was revealed in the sixth State Transparency Report 2022 released on Tuesday. This report is published by Transparency International India (TII).
According to the report, only 11 states and union territories have an online portal to complete RTI (right to know) applications. These states include Bihar, Goa, Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. It was suggested in this report that training should be given to government officials for strict compliance with the RTI Act.
It was said in this report that the law on transparency is not effectively implemented in the country. There are many reasons behind this including not giving information to the public on behalf of the officials, the rude behavior of the public information officer towards the people and giving false information about the provisions of the right to information law to hide information, not knowing what the public interest is and laws like the right to privacy put obstacles in the way of the right to information.
The RTI Act was enacted in 2005. According to the Information Commission, more than 4.20 million RTI requests were received by states and the Center between 2005-06 and 2020-21. Even after so many years, from 2005 to today, the mentality of most government employees and public authorities is still to keep government work secret. Even after so many years, RTI demands are seen as a burden on the government.
TII Director Rama Nath Jha said the Information Commission was becoming like a parking lot for retired bureaucrats. The negligent attitude of the public information officer when rejecting RTI’s request is also a big challenge in the progress of this law.
TII Chairman Prof Madhu Bhalla said October 12 will mark 17 years since the RTI Act came into force. There are still many challenges in fully implementing this law, intended to ensure transparency and accountability in the work of government, so only half the battle has been won.
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