Highest number of appeals filed against Revenue, Education Depts, under RTI Act

Highest number of appeals filed against Revenue, Education Depts, under RTI Act

The complainants and appeals filed by information seekers came after they were not satisfied by the response received against their RTI applications filed in the Revenue Department.

J&K Revenue Department, among all administrative departments has accounted for highest number of complaints and appeals, received and decided by the State Information Commission (SIC) during the year 2012-13, under RTI Act-2009.

The complainants and appeals filed by information seekers came after they were not satisfied by the response received against their RTI applications filed in the Revenue Department.

The 23 percent complainants and appeals were made by the information seekers who have filed RTI request in Revenue Department, followed by Education Department against which 9 percent appeals were filed before the SIC by information seekers. “Here administrative department means the Secretariat Department and HODs/Organizations sub-ordinate to it,” said an official.

The Public Service Commission among rest of the individual Public Authorities has emerged as a single organization with highest number of complaints/appeals, 7.40 percent, decided by the Commission during 2012-2013.

The main function of the Commission is to receive and dispose of complaints under section 15 and 2nd appeals under section 16 of the Act.

As per the information available on official website of SIC, the Commission received 741 complaints and appeals during the year 2012-13 as compared to 974 of such cases during 2011-12.

However, apart from 741 cases received in 2012-13 the Commission had an opening balance of 419 cases which meant an overall tally of 1160 cases requiring to be disposed of during 2012-13. “Accordingly, the Commission focused hard on the disposal of cases particularly the backlog accumulated due to non-appointment of State Information Commissioners of the Commission till Oct 2011,” an official informed.

 “In 2012-2013, 902 cases were disposed off, besides 124 defective cases, accumulated over last 3 years, were also closed. The closing balance of complaints and 2nd Appeals thus got reduced to 134 at the end of March 2013,” he added.

 The cases decided by the Commission during this period mainly related to information sought in revenue cases, service matters, selection processes, law and order, rural development, health and other matters.

 The available figures reveal that the number of complaints or appeals filed in the Commission during 2012-2013 constitutes 1.5 percent of the number of RTI applications received by the Public Information Officers of various Public Authorities in the state.

 In 2009-10, the public authorities received 741 RTI requests. The number of RTI requests in 2010-11 remained 3110, 12136 requests were received in 2011-12, and in 2012-13 the number of requests received by public authorities remained 27619.