Govt to blame for lack of awareness on RTI Act

Govt to blame for lack of  awareness on RTI Act
Highlights

Govt to Blame for Lack of Awareness on RTI Act, Right to Information Act, State Information. "It is disappointing that the government is not propagating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it has to be. Most of the government departments are least bothered about the Act and care little for its implementation", said State Information Commissioner P Vijaya Babu.

"It is disappointing that the government is not propagating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it has to be. Most of the government departments are least bothered about the Act and care little for its implementation", said State Information Commissioner P Vijaya Babu.
In a brief chat with The Hans India, Vijaya Babu expressed his dissatisfaction over the appellate authorities’ efforts towards protection and implementation of the Act which is being neglected. Public has to unite and fight for protecting their fundamental rights, he said.
"Many IAS officials develop cold feet towards attending the hearings. The GO 20 passed by the government lacks sanctity. The GO 20 provides for a feasibility clause, which leaves the option to the appellate authorities from attending the hearings. However, according to the Act, if information is withheld, the accused can be considered as deemed PIO", he said.
Public are being prevented from their right to information because of the irresponsible attitude of higher authorities. If the government itself fails to promote the Act and spread awareness on the Act, who cares for it, he questioned.
“ I do not hesitate to say that most of the IAS officers are trying to ruin the spirit of the Act. Activists have to take up agitations to fight for their rights and the media need to emphasise on the issue which would help public to know about the Act in a better way, said Vijay Babu.
‘There were as many as 16,000 petitions pending one-and-half years ago, but today, I have succeeded in speeding up hearing of the cases. Nearly 3700 cases were dealt in a year. There is not much of political threatening or any other activity as such in our State thankfully, he added.
When quizzed about applicability of the RTI Act to politicians in the State, the Commissioner said, “There is ambiguity over it. At a certain stage, public will come together to achieve it too.’
The government should conduct awareness programmes and propagate the benefits and rules of the Act. There is no such initiative from its side.
He called upon the public to awake, arise and take out movements towards achieving their rights.’

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