RTI pleas pile up at information commissions
Polity & Governance
14th Oct, 2022
Vacant posts and inadequate members are taking a toll on the transparency regime and it is resulting in pendency in the resolution of RTI pleas.
- As per the latest update-
- About 3.15 lakh complaints or appeals are pending with 26 information commissions across India.
- The highest number of pending cases was in Maharashtra at 99,722 followed by Uttar Pradesh at 44,482.
Right to Information (RTI)
- Right to Information (RTI) means that any Indian citizen can request any information (which is supposed to be public knowledge) from the offices and departments of the state or central governments.
- The RTI Act, 2005 mandates that the said offices and departments must process such requests in a timely manner.
- Under this Act, access to information from a public agency has become a statutory right of every citizen.
- It is a fundamental right flowing from Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution.
- Not Imposingpenalties: Commissions did not impose penalties in 95% of the cases where penalties were potentially imposable.
- Large Backlog of cases: The large backlog of cases has built up, resulting in a long waiting time for disposal, as governments have failed to make appointments of information commissioners in a timely manner.
- Tardy disposal rates: In several commissions, there is a lack of transparency in their functioning which is resulting in a tardy disposal rate.
- Vacant Posts: Out of a total of 165 posts of information commissioners, 41 are vacant, including two chief State information commissioners.
- Women’s Representation: There are only 5% (only 8) of women information commissioners in the country.