Akhil Gogoi, a social activist from Assam, Lalit Narayan Mishra, an Etawah-based education officer with the Uttar Pradesh government, and Arunachal Pradesh information commission have been selected for the first Right to Information (RTI) national awards.
RTI awards are an initiative of Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF) with Hindustan Times for strengthening the transparency movement in India.
A jury including actor Aamir Khan, former badminton player Pullela Gopichand, former chief justice of India J.S. Verma, former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh and dancer Mallika Sarabhai announced the awards on Friday evening.
Gogoi got the award under the citizen category, Mishra under Public Information Officer category and the Arunachal Pradesh information commission under information commission category. The awards would be given on December 1.
In all, there were 19 nominees, who will also get a certificate and cash reward.
The jury sought strong deterrence against non-compliance of the RTI Act and asked the information commissioners to strictly implement the law as done by Arunachal Pradesh Information Commission.
“The commissioners (in Arunachal Pradesh) are empowered, barring exceptional cases, to invoke their powers of arrest and production of documents if the officer does not provide satisfactory information,” the jury said in a statement.