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With JK under CIC, complaints may have to wait for months for redress
2/4/2020 12:09:06 AM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Feb 3: With Jammu and Kashmir brought under the jurisdiction of Central Information Commission, the applicants may have to wait for months.
Reason: Over 26,000 applications are already pending with Central Information Commission and are waiting for months for their redress.
An official said that procedure of first appellate authority for disposing of RTI applications will be the same.
“However, for making second appeal or any complaint, the applicant has to approach to CIC. This could be done by post, online or the applicant has to go to CIC office,” he said. He however said there would be further delay in disposing of complaints. “Over 26,000 applications are already pending with the CIC. There will be huge delay in hearing applications,” he added. At least seven commissions including State Information Commission (SIC) were closed by the Centre through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 on October 31.
There was uncertainty whether Jammu and Kashmir would come under the purview of CIC or a separate Commission would be constituted like it had SIC in the past. However, suspense has ended as it has been decided to bring RTI in J&K under the purview of CIC.
An official of General Administration Department said government has decided that CIC would be extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
“The central RTI Act 2005 has replaced J&K RTI Act 2009 in the new Union Territory. All provisions of RTI Act 2005 have been enforced in J&K. The new Union Territory will have no separate Information Commission,” the official said.
The official said over 230 second appeals and 140 complaints under the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act were pending for disposal in the SIC when it was dissolved.
Sources said that a committee headed by Administrative Secretary General Administrative Department has also submitted its report to the government.
It has also recommended that J&K has to be under the purview of the CIC.
“The committee has also spell out the actions required to be taken like re-designation of public information officers and other functionaries under the Act,” sources said.
The SIC was functioning with just one information commissioner. It had been left without a head for more than a year before it was wound up last year.
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