KATHUA, May 24: To enthuse vigor in the working of State Information Commission (SIC), Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, today chaired a Round Table Conference on ‘Underscoring the Importance of Right to Information (RTI) Act’ here today.
The CIC said that one of the objectives of holding the Round Table Conference was to reduce the gap between the information provider and the information seeker. Several issues were raised and discussed during the Round Table which was held with First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) and RTI Activists.
He said that the essence of the Act is to ensure greater transparency, accountability and corruption free governance. ”RTI Act is not merely a provision but a potent tool to strengthen democracy and promote good governance”, he said.
CIC maintained that suo moto disclosure of information under Section 4 needs to be followed in letter and spirit by all Public Authorities.
He emphasized the need to use RTI and J&K Public Services Guarantee Act for expediting and monitoring development works in the far flung areas. He appealed to the activists to use the RTI Act for legitimate purposes only so that no undue pressure is put on the PIOs and Public Authorities.
He appealed to the PIOs and FAAs to comply with the provisions of J&K RTI Act, 2009 and called for timely response in providing information so that the allegations of delay or concealment of information are no longer made by anyone.
Stressing on sustained mass awareness at grassroot level, the CIC directed DC Kathua to educate all stakeholders on the importance of the Act by launching mass media campaigns in this regard. Several case studies were also discussed to give detailed understanding regarding various provisions of the Act.
Later, the CIC also interacted with the RTI activists of the district.
DC Ramesh Kumar, SSP, Suleman Choudhary, ADC and other district officers were present in the conference.