Information commission at Tripura in a limbo
Ref: PIL filed in Delhi HC for proper implementation of RTI Act
Comment: I would like to inform to all activist that Tripura Information Commission in pushing the implementation of RTI Act in State of Tripura into comma and making RTI Act less effective.
Myself and some of close relatives had filed various RTI applications for seeking information under the RTI Act but have received fake, baseless and bogus replies of SPIO, non-speaking orders of appellate authorities and TIC orders which are not in consonance with the provisions of RTI Act.It has been experienced that PIO resort to filibustering tactics by assigning arbitrary and baseless reasons for refusing information, beyond the provision of RTI Act.
Other than the above I am highlighting some of the serious issues which needs to be immedietely addressed in the appropriate platform or else murder of RTI Act in Tripura is unavoidable.
1.That since June 2011,the Tripura Information Commission(TIC) is functioning without a State Chief Information Commissioner(SCIC) and since then the TIC is comprising of just one State Information Commissioner.The State Information Commissioner of TIC is always taking lenient approach towards various SPIO and FAA.The said commissioner is law unto herself, delivering orders that have weak legal reasoning or no reasoning at all. She tends to go easy on public information officers who persistently deny information.
3.That State Information Commissioner of TIC is exercising the power of judicial review, beyond legislative competence and limitations, in desperation to provide extra-ordinary benefit/favor to a SPIO, who was proved guilty before the same Commission.
4.The complaint or appeal cases are not registered promptly in the office of the Commission.
5.Hearing against Appeals/Complaints were not conducted in most cases and in the name of Commission, the Secretary of TIC is issuing the order one sided.Even in limited occasion when hearing is conducted, the alleged commissioner, instead of acting in a judge-like capacity she act like the Public Authority’s defense lawyer and speak on their behalf, 6.The alleged Commissioner or the Secretary on behalf of Commission either don't give any reasons or give such reasons in the Order for justifying non-disclosure, which are not listed under Section 8 or 9, or anywhere else in the RTI Act.
Mostly Orders tend to be based on laws, rules, regulations and arguments outside the RTI Act. Section 22, which states that RTI Act supersedes all other laws and rules, is totally ignored.
7. The section 20 of the Act is something which she has self-omitted from the Act.
8.That in the name of awareness the Commissioner, secretary and dealing staffs were spreading misinformation about RTI Act. Like for instance, they have advised some SPIO and FAA that extract from available documents under possession of public authority is not allowed.They further advised that any informations whether related or not related with any ongoing proceeding against a public servant shouldn’t be provided.
That I personally brought the matter to the notice of the HIS EXCELLENCY,GOVERNOR OF TRIPURA,but he is maintaining silence.
Therefore,I would request the anyone who can take up the cause to file a PIL before the Hon'ble Supreme Court as it wouldn't be possible for me to file myself from Tripura and moreover I would not be able to bear the expense for filing case.However,if anyone is voluntarily come forward than I am ready to send all the related documents.
Name: Subhra Sankar Laskar
Email id: email@example.com