New Delhi, Nov 6: It is taking almost a year to get an appeal and complain redressed due to the paucity of information commissioners. This is causing cases piling up. Right to Information activists are holding the government responsible for delaying the appointment of information commissioner.
A report issued by an organisation called Satark Nagrik Sangathan says, around 40-60 lakh RTI complain are submitted in a year but on an average they are answered only after 319 days. One of the RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj said that the reason is that there are just seven information commissioner in Central Information Commission which is reason of cases getting piled up.
Anjali said that in March 2011 the single bench was solving 3200 cases and appeals every year which has declined to around 800 now. She said that there are one or two such information commissioner who are able to deal with 1200 to 1500 cases. Recently some RTI activists have filed a petition in which appeal was made to expedite the process of appointment of information commissioner and after the Supreme Court order advertisement for the appointment of Information Commissioner was issued. Anjali also said that things are going to be worst because CIC and four other members are going to retire very soon. So cases will remain unattended and some administrative problem will also crop up. Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur is retiring in December.
There are post of around 156 Information Commissioners in Centre and state are vacant out of that 48 are vacant from very long time. Post of chief information commissioner is vacant in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland and MP, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalay, Sikkim and Tripura have vacant posts of Information Commissioner.
Data provides that around 56 per cent applicants were in violation of RTI Act under Section 20 which and only in 28 per cent matters they were issued show cause notice while in just four per cent cases fines were imposed. As per the report from 2005 to 2016 CIC has imposed fines to the tune of Rs 1.93 crore.