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Govt going slow on RTI Act

india Updated: Nov 05, 2006 00:04 IST

SANDEEP PANDEY, Magsaysay award recipient and an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur, said the government was half-heartedly implementing the Right to Information Act (RTIA). He said efforts were being made to to save officials, while petitioners get harassed.

Talking to mediapersons, Pandey said that it was common practice of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to allow indefinite ‘grace period’ to officials with regard to cases against them.

“However, the CIC does not allow any extra time to a petitioner if he or she fails to appear before the panel on the fixed dates.”

He alleged that on numerous occasions, the commission did not impose penalty on defaulter officials.

Pandey said that they were striving hard to ensure that the CIC treated bureaucrats and commoners on a par.

He said that he was engaged in creating public opinion for the implementation of the RTI Act and the Employment Guarantee Law in the rural areas.

He informed that his NGO ‘Asha’ was verifying the number of villagers who had benefitted from the Employment Guarantee Law.

He said that both the Central and the State governments were anti-people and were harassing masses by using political and administrative powers.

He said that forcible acquiring of farmers’ land in various parts of the State was a blatant example of the government’s autocratic policies.

Besides, industrialists with political clout were not only exploiting workers but also denying them their due rights.