Report on the implementation of the RTI Act
Report on the implementation of the RTI Act: More than 40 posts of Information Commissioners are vacant in the country, and there is no Chief Information Commissioner in 2 states
Out of 165 posts of Information Commissioners in the country, 42 posts are lying vacant. Of these, a maximum of 4-4 seats are vacant in West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra and 3-3 seats are vacant in Uttarakhand, Kerala, Haryana and the Centre. There is no Chief Information Commissioner in two states- Gujarat and Jharkhand. Women occupy less than 5% of the total posts of information commissioners. This has been revealed in the Sixth State Transparency Report 2022 released on Tuesday. This report is released by Transparency International India (TII).
According to the report, only 11 states and union territories have an online portal for filling out RTI (Right to Information) applications. These states include Bihar, Goa, Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. It has been suggested in this report that training should be given to government officials for strict compliance with the RTI Act.
It has been said in this report that transparency law is not implemented effectively in the country. There are many reasons behind this, including not giving information to the public on behalf of the officials, rude behaviour of the public information officer towards the people and giving wrong information about the provisions of the Right to Information Act to hide the information, not knowing what the public interest is and Laws like Right to Privacy put obstacles in the way of Right to Information.
The RTI Act was enacted in 2005. According to the Information Commission, more than 4.20 crore RTI applications were received by the states and the Center between 2005-06 and 2020-21. Even after so many years from 2005 till now, the mentality of most government employees and public authorities is still to keep the government work secret. Even after so many years, RTI applications are considered as a burden on the government.
TII Director Rama Nath Jha said that the Information Commission is becoming like a parking space for retiring bureaucrats. The careless attitude of the Public Information Officer while rejecting the RTI application is also a big challenge in the path of this law.
TII Chairperson Professor Madhu Bhalla said that October 12 will complete 17 years of the RTI Act coming into force. There are still many challenges in the full implementation of this law, intended to ensure transparency and accountability in government work, so only half the battle has been won.