This is in reference to “PSC has to respect RTI” by Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat published in this paper on 28th Nov. I have been following all the news articles and columns published in this paper vis a vis RTI implementation in Public Service Commission. The job aspirants have been complaining about non implementation of RTI in PSC. Infact from the day RTI Act was enacted in J&K way back in 2004 and enactment of present version of this law in 2009 , almost 90 percent of applications filed by job aspirants , aggrieved or any other information seekers have been rejected or not responded by the J&K Public Service Commission. It was only after intervention of State Information Commission that PSC responded and provided information to some RTI applicants in past. How many aggrieved job aspirants file appeal before the Information Commission? As per media reports not even 10 percent RTI cases land at Information Commission. I am of this opinion that Chief Information Commissioner Khurshid Ganai should not at all wait and must penalize the officers of PSC who are willfully denying information to RTI applicants. Not even a single PIO has been penalized till date by present or former Chief Information Commissioners. It is understood that PIOs in PSC are under pressure of PSC management , but at the end of the day. It is PIO who has to face the wrath of penalty under section 17 of J&K RTI Act 2009. The Chairman or members of PSC cannot be penalized as they are not designated PIOs in the PSC. So i appeal PIOs especially those designated as PIOs in J&K Public Service Commission to be aware of the fact that they can be taken to task and that time authorities at the helm of affairs cannot come to their rescue, so it is advisable that they must follow the due process of law.
This is in response to column titled PSC has to respect RTI by Raja Muzaffar Bhat (DE 28.11.2017). Irony is that we are still urging upon Public Service Commission to implement RTI Act in toto. It is already made clear by the various orders of State Information Commission right from 2011 onwards that PSC is a public authority and thus it cannot shy away from not responding to information seekers under State RTI Act. I am of the firm belief that State Information Commission is not taking PSC seriously and this is actually making SIC and its Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) redundant. Present CIC Khurshid Ahmad Ganai should summon members of PSC along with its chairman and discuss the issue. I would also appeal RTI activists to take up this matter with Legislators, Law Minister and Chief Minister. We should at any cost bring PSC under RTI domain so that it becomes answerable and transparent institution.