iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Padma Shastri, PTI
Indore, January 07, 2006
RIGHT TO Information Act 2005 has raised public expectations for speedy response and redressal to their problems. State Chief Information Commissioner T N Shrivastav who arrived in the City on Friday to hold parleys with administrative officials and citizens to assess the Act’s outcome spoke to Padma Shastri about its impact. Excerpts:

What are major obstacles in implementation of Act?

There is no problem. But public expectations are high. It is important that people should be educated about the Act and the procedure laid down under it. It functions at two levels. Firstly, the administrative level where complaints are received and need to be disposed of. Then there is judicial provision where State Information Commission has a role to play when the information sought from public authority or government aided institution is not given.

Nevertheless, the Commission is not the Act but only a part of it. It cannot take direct cognisance of the complaint and ask the defaulting public authority to dissipate the information to the applicant. One has to follow the set procedure laid down for approaching the Commission. It can’t be bypassed.

But this has generated frustration among the public who after waiting for over a month to get information from public authority have to undergo the same drill to get relief from you?

The provision for addressing the grievances is missing in the Act. We’ll have to look into the matter. To my knowledge, the Grievance Commission is in New Delhi and not in states. The Grievance Commission follows the case till the complainant gets redressal. Information