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news details
In open violation of RTI Act, SHRC yet to launch website
8/23/2017 10:04:33 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Aug 23: As the deadline for making voluntary disclosure under the Right to Information Act has already expired on June 30, the J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is one such public authority which is openly violating the provisions of J&K RTI Act. The Commission is yet to launch its website, with the result there is no voluntary disclosure of information as mandated under section 4 of the RTI Act.
The SHRC issues several orders and notices on daily basis. But when Early Times tried to access these orders online, the same could not be located as the commission does not have a website yet. Only information available about SHRC was found on National Human Rights Commission's (NHRC) website (http://nhrc.nic.in/shrc.htm) which has details about various state human rights commissions.
While browsing various links on NHRC's website, almost all the state human rights commissions have their independent websites, except the J&K SHRC. When one clicks the SHRC link, the details of official website and email column have been left blank.
Pertinent to mention that the public authorities are yet to adhere to J&K State Information Commission's (SIC) circular wherein they were directed to make pro-active disclosure.
As per reliable sources, majority of the government websites have not been updated even after CIC's March 17 order wherein June 30 was given deadline to the public authorities for making voluntary disclosure of information.
As already reported, the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Khurshid Ahmad Ganai while acting against the public authorities for not implementing the RTI Act particularly not adhering to pro-active disclosure (under section 4 (1) (b) ) and digitization of record had issued a notice directing them to take necessary steps to make voluntary disclosure of information through official websites by of before June 30.
On the direction of CIC, the State Information Commission (SIC) vide its notification No: SIC /J/15/2009 -11 /148-80, dated 17.3.2017 had directed the public authorities which includes mostly government organizations to make voluntary disclosure of information under section 4 (1) (b) of State RTI Act 2009 by or before June 30 or face action.
"I haven't seen much change in the majority of official websites. The information which was there on these websites in March 2017 is still there without any additions. The section 4 (1) (b) column is as it is and no extra information has been added particularly to the officials websites of various districts," said Bilal Ahmad Bhat, an RTI activist from Srinagar
Pertinent to mention that for for years former CIC, G R Sufi, struggled to get government record digitised and updating the same on official websites of various public authorities. But the voluntary disclosure of Information remains a challenging task for the SIC.
After remaining headless, the defunct SIC was again constituted after Khurshid Ahmad Ganai was appointed as CIC.
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