The State Information Commission recently made available the facility of video conferencing in Haryana, as per guidelines laid down by the Centre.
The system has been set up at the deputy commissioner’s office in Gurgaon to facilitate Right to Information (RTI) hearings which were earlier held before the first appellate authority in Chandigarh.
Aseem Takyar, an RTI activist in Gurgaon, said, “The facility has made it very convenient for appellants to attend hearings. Earlier, it was difficult to commute to Chandigarh for all hearings and one often missed them.”
In response to an RTI application filed by Takyar, the State Information Commission said, “As per records of the commission, the video conferencing facility has been established in the commission and is likely to start from May 20.” Since then, about three hearings have taken place at the DC office in Gurgaon.
In October 2012, the Haryana state information commission had received a grant of R9,68,540 from the Union government for implementation of the RTI Act.
However, not many are aware of the new facility. “I had filed an RTI with the Huda which was to be heard in early March. When I did not get a response, I approached the appellate authority. A hearing was fixed twice but the authority did not turn up. Forget about video conferencing, the authorities have no concern for hearing dates to start with,” said another RTI activist, Harish Capoor.