‘RTI amendments inappropriate’
Srinagar, Sep 2: Latest amendment of RTI Rules in Jammu and Kashmir is set to trigger another round of controversy between alliance partners – National Conference and Congress – as PCC Chief Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz on Sunday said that these amendments were not necessary at this juncture.
“My opinion is that it was not necessary for the government to amend the RTI Rules at this juncture,” Soz told Greater Kashmir.
Paradoxically, Soz’s utterances contradict the stand of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who defended reviewing RTI Rules.
“They (State Govt) went beyond the scope of the Rules in the rest of the country and since our Act was modeled on the Act at the Centre we brought our Rules at par with the rest of the country as well,” Omar Abdullah was quoted by a New Delhi based tabloid as saying.
Virtually opposing the amendments in RTI Rules, Soz said that RTI Act with its existing set of Rules answered the requirement of the society well.
Responding to a query over amendments in RTI rules earlier in Jammu today, the PCC chief said that he would have to study the changes so as to reach on any conclusion. “However, as far as my own understanding goes, I believe that the Act was in itself complete and there was no requirement for any amendments in the Rules”, he added.
Pertinently, General Administration Department (GAD) on Thursday notified the new Rules after getting these ratified by the State Cabinet, triggering widespread resentment among the stakeholders with Chief Information Commissioner GR Sufi severely criticizing the move.
“There was no reason to come up with new Rules. The new Rules have taken the soul out of RTI Act. The Government has made SIC toothless,” Sufi had said.
The replacement of Rules is turning out to be a major embarrassment for Jammu and Kashmir Government as stakeholders and general public view it as a move to undermine the authority of the State Information Commission.
According to the stakeholders, the replacement of RTI Rules has virtually rendered the Commission toothless and it is now handicapped to take action against the defaulting officials.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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