RTI activists supported by NGOs go on a daylong token hunger strike in Chennai
Charging the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission (SIC) of failure to take appropriate action against erring Public Information Officers (PIOs), a group of RTI activists supported by NGOs went on a daylong token hunger strike in Chennai. Bala Subramanian of Voice of India (an NGO), who led the demonstration near Chepauk government guesthouse claimed that the TNSIC has failed to implement the RTI Act effectively even eight years after the enactment. A series of protests are planned against the alleged lethargic attitude of the information commission in dealing with cases of delay or denial of information to RTI applicants. Several complaints have also been filed with the Governor to dismiss the information commission asserting that it no longer had the right to safeguard the Act.
To the arguments of the RTI activists that they were receiving incomplete and vague information under the RTI Act from the government departments, the chief information commissioner of SIC K S Sripathi had reportedly said that the SIC was not here to generate revenue for the government by imposing penalties on the PIOs. The appointment of Sripathi as the state chief information commissioner was opposed by many activists who claimed that as the vigilance commissioner, he was instrumental in getting the vigilance and anti-corruption department exempted from the RTI Act.