An RTI user gives Zero rating to RTI ACT
No action was taken against the PIO and the first appellate authority who handled my matter so callously. Instead, he too defended the two authorities, stating that the PIO should be given more time, as the act was fairly new.
RECENTLY, I was asked for an opinion on (Right To Information) RTI, while filling a form sent to me by PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation) for their RTI awards section on SIC (State Information Commissioner).
I had filed an RTI application in the Building Proposal Department (Bandra Western Suburbs) thrice. However in all the cases, my request for information was denied, either by charging me with excess fee or asking me to go on my own to an inspection of the building concerned.
When, I had appealed against these denials (in the first appeal), I was shocked and surprised with the way the First Appellate authority dealt with me. I felt that I had made some big mistake by using the RTI. The authorities were not ready to listen my version and defended the PIO instead.
Then I had gone ahead and lodged a complaint with the SIC, regarding the behaviour and the way the appeal was taken. In this second appeal, I had gone to the office of Dr Suresh Joshi (SIC) and attended about 10 hearings in the matter concerned. The commissioner was not punctual and the process took more than a year to complete.
No action was taken against the PIO and the first appellate authority who handled my matter so callously. Instead, he too defended the two authorities, stating that the PIO should be given more time, as the act was fairly new and he was already overloaded with work. He also commented on the plight of the poor PIOs due to the sheer number of applications submitted in our country.
Now, even after going through the PIO, the first appellate authority and the SIC himself, getting into six to seven complaints, I did not receive the desired answers, then what usefulness can be ascribed to the act?
Moreover, getting the information after more than a year doesn’t solve anything and the subject matter dies its natural death till the time SIC gives order. Then, after giving the order also, there is no specific framework where the SIC has control on the PIO and can pressure him for delivering the information on time.
Coming back to the survey on the RTI, my rating for the system automatically became zero as, until and unless the implementing authority, who is on the seat, would not work under the preview of the act, nothing can be changed. It is his duty is to work as per the act and not defend PIOs, giving plausible views on their conditions.
If he wants to put his views and feelings in the act, he should approach the right authority and get the act changed instead of stating it during the appeal and wasting valuable public money। रवि नीर
DISPLAYED IN MERI NEWS
DISPLAYED IN MERI NEWS