Should the administrative heads of temples be made information officers?
The Karnataka State Information Commission has decided to bring category B and C temples in the state under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act. An official from the department of religious endowments stated that till now only category ‘A’ temples came under the purview of RTI Act and had information officers. The decision of SIC will now make locally governed temples accountable under the transparency act. With the decision, around 77,000 temples in the state will be covered under the RTI Act.
As per a gazette notification by the department in this regard, the administrative heads of the temples will be the public information officers of the respective temples. The activists have raised concerns that appointing administrative heads as PIOs might not serve the purpose genuinely. However, the step by SIC to make temples accountable has been welcomed as till now their management didn’t have to face external intervention. But now information about pooja procedures, the process of appointing priests, their qualification, income and expenditure, etc. can be extracted under the RTI Act.