How effective is the Right to Information Act of Jammu and Kashmir?
The State Information Commission (SIC) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has disclosed that majority of the government departments and offices are yet to implement the Right to Information Act in letter and spirit. The status report on the compliance of section 4 of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act - 2009 by public authorities reveals that many public authorities have failed to make mandatory pro-active disclosures under the Act. As per section 4 of RTI Act, all the public authorities have to disclose their particulars, functions, duties, powers, the procedure followed in the decision making process, monthly remuneration of employees, allocation of budget and other details voluntarily at regular intervals.
The status report reveals blanks shown against details of voluntary disclosure and displaying of particulars of PIO and FAA of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat which indicates that nil pro-active disclosure. These disclosures under section 4 were to be made after 120 days of enactment of RTI Act in the state. As per the report, the major defaulters include Administrative Reforms, Inspections, Trainings & Grievances Department, Agriculture Production Department, Civil Aviation, Cooperatives, School Education Secretariat, Technical Education Secretariat, Election Department, Food & Supplies Department, Health and Medical Education Department, Home Department, Hospitality & Protocol Department, Higher Education Department, Information and Technology Department, Labour and Employment Department, Ladakh Affairs, Planning and Development Department, Power Development Department , Public Works Department and others.