The State Information Commission (SIC) will recommend the MP government that RTI (right to information) applications should be accepted on email, a plan to make the process easier and more accessible.
State chief information commissioner (SCIC) KD Khan told HT that the panel would forward the recommendations to the state government very soon. The RTI Act provides the SIC the power to make such recommendations to the state government under Section 25 (3)(g).
"Filing an email application will be immensely helpful for the applicants who might not be physically present at a place to use the RTI provisions," Khan said. At present, email applications are accepted in New Delhi, and the provision has become quite popular with the applicants because of the ease and transparency.
Recently, RTI activist Ajay Dubey had written to the commission demanding that such a provision be made available in Madhya Pradesh, too. "We were considering the proposal and the demand has further prompted us to take it up immediately with the government," Khan said.
Meanwhile, the SIC has launched the facility of hearing RTI appeals and complaints through videoconferencing, thereby saving the time and money of the applicants.
Hearings through videoconferencing were recently held for the districts of Rajgarh, Vidisha and Balaghat. "The process will continue," Khan said.
In another step that will save time and money of the applicants, the information commission has decentralised its functioning and is conducting district-level hearings.
Earlier, the hearings were conducted only at the SIC head office in Bhopal, forcing the applicants to come all the way from across the state. During the past month, hearings were conducted at Satna, Rewa, Balaghat, Narsinghpur and Mandla.
Khan said the commission was trying to ensure that all pending appeals and complaints were taken care of as soon as possible. For this purpose, lok adalats, where appeals and complaints were heard en masse, were held at Gwalior and Jabalpur.
Earlier, similar lok adalat was held at Bhopal. At the Gwalior lok adalat held recently, 151 out of 600 cases were resolved, he said.