Stop violation of RTI Act

Violation of the important RTI Act intermittently continues to take place in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir due to the concerned authorities perhaps not treating the issue with all seriousness it deserves. On the other hand, with more emphasis to exercise their right to seek information, the applicant information seekers turn out to be more conscious and go to all the remedies available in case of not getting the requisite information within the stipulated timeframe. We have been persistently writing about almost all incidents where the CIC has to seek explanation and even initiate penal action against such officers who do not arrange providing the information in time , even after a complaint is filed by an ”aggrieved” complainant. When the CIC intervenes and even orders to initiate a penal action, that is in itself an embarrassment to the UT Government.
In recent such cases where certain information was requested to be furnished by Medical Superintendent, Chief Education Officer and a Deputy Superintendent of Police respectively were found and proved by a trail of delays caused, in parting with the information with the applicants for having created ”deliberate obstruction” in furnishing particular information by them. Thus the tenets of the Transparency Law stand violated and as such the CIC has served show cause notices on these responsible officers of the UT Government to explain as to why penal action should not be taken against them under the provisions of the Act. The question is as to why should such instances take place at all and besides slated to face action under the orders of the CIC, why the UT Government does not seem to take action against such officers for taking matters under the RTI Act so casually not knowing the ramifications of such unexpected and unwarranted approach. If information is submitted, that also after the applicant files complaint, after two to three years and such an inordinate delay being absolutely unjustified thus is tantamount to denial of the information. We feel the UT Government should take a serious note of such a casual approach by the concerned authorities and also arrange to conduct workshops for ”enlightening ” officers about what the RTI Act stood for and why action under it is needed to be taken promptly.