Gujarat law department rejects RTI application despite CIC order
An application was filed with the Department of Law, Gujarat under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking details about the procedure for appointment of special public prosecutors (SPP) for victims and the government resolutions passed in this regard under Prevention of Atrocities against Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes Act. The application also sought to get the records of applications for SPP between 2001 and 2012 and the number of SPPs appointed during this period.
When the public information officer (PIO) of the law department refused to provide the information, the applicant filed an appeal with the first appellate authority of the department. The appellate authority ordered the PIO to provide the demanded information to the appellant. In place of providing the information, the department asked the opinion of General Administration Department (GAD) regarding challenging the appellate authority's decision before the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC).
Though the GAD stated that the RTI Act doesn't provide for such action, the department went ahead and challenged the decision of FAA before the information commission. The department contended that information cannot be provided due to excessive workload and staff crunch. The SIC, in its order held the decision of the appellate authority and asked the department to furnish the information free of cost and within 15 days. The commission also issued notice to the PIO for not abiding by the RTI Act. However, despite Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) order, no information has been received by the applicant.