SIC - The response from the officials to RTI applications is not encouraging
Addressing a press conference, the Information Commissioner of Andhra State Information Commission Mr. P. Vijay Babu said, “We have noticed that many officials were not providing information sought by the appellants.” In some cases, the officials are taking the pea that the information was not available. Such an action may amount to a deemed refusal under the Section 7(2) of the RTI Act and penalty may be levied. The Section 21(b) of RTI Act prescribes a fine of Rs. 250 for each day of delay extendable to Rs. 25,000 apart from compensation. He pointed that many Public Information Officers (PIOs) were not attending to the hearing called for by the Commission which indicates indifference in approach.
He also pointed to the misuse of the RTI Act by some people and organisations. He said that the pseudo RTI activists were bulldozing the officials or seeking information with an eye on public properties. He said that the awareness level amongst citizens was high and they are aware of their rights.
The Andhra Pradesh State Information Commission has received nearly 25,000 appeals and complaints out of which nearly 11,000 have been disposed.