The appointment of four Information Commissioners speeds up disposal at SIC
The Chief Information Commissioner of the Andhra Pradesh State Information Commission Mr. Jannat Hussain has informed that the disposal of RTI appeals has obtained a quicker pace following the appointment of four Information Commissioners. Out of the 79,441 cases which have come up before the SIC, over 60,000 have been disposed while 19,306 are still pending. Since 2007, the Andhra Pradesh SIC has collected a penalty of Rs. 4.5 lakh under section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. from officials who had failed to provide information as per the provisions of the RTI Act.
Mr. Hussain spoke on the need for the officials to come forward and provide information under the RTI Act. He was attended a meeting on ‘Seven years of RTI’ organised by the Samachara Hakku Rakshana Vedika at the Revenue House. The other aspects of the speech included the role of media and the need for more awareness about RTI.