RTI activists seek resumption of services of quasi-judicial bodies in MaharashtraUpdated: Sep 16, 2020 23:36 IST
A group of Right to Information (RTI) activists have filed a petition in the Bombay high court seeking resumption of the functioning of quasi-judicial bodies including Central, state information commission, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), railways claim tribunal, income tax appellate tribunal and state electricity regulatory commission.
The activists have filed public interest litigation (PIL) asking the court to direct the Maharashtra government to start work via video conferencing platform, as the work had stopped due to the ongoing pandemic situation.
“We do not know for how long this situation will last. When other bodies have started functioning, why not the quasi-judicial bodies in Maharashtra resume work using online-mediums. We had approached the chief secretary asking for the same but got no reply. We then approached the Bombay high court. If the bodies are shut and non-functioning, then backlogs will go on piling up,” said Shailesh Gandhi, former, Central information commissioner.
The RTI activists have also filed another PIL in the Bombay high court seeking a road map for the Maharashtra information commission to provide replies for the second appeal in RTI within 45 days.
Citing second appeal reply in Maharashtra at times gets delayed for up to three years.
“The Maharashtra information commission should follow the judgement of high courts in the country. The reply for the second appeal takes a lot of time. It often gets delayed. The citizens should know the truth and the government should speak about it. We have asked that the second appeal should be disposed of within 45 days.” said Gandhi.