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Your RTI plea may not get response anytime soon, 4 top posts vacant in Maharashtra

Former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has urged CM Fadnavis, in a formal letter, to immediately fill the vacant posts.

mumbai Updated: May 12, 2017 14:16 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
RTI,Maharashtra information commission,Shailesh Gandhi
Gandhi has also urged the state government to consider eminent RTI activists for the job.(Picture for representation)

Maharashtra has over 40,000 RTI appeals pending before various state information commissioners appointed in seven revenue divisions, including Mumbai, according to former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi. With the average annual rate of disposal of 3000 cases per commissioner, the disposal of these pending cases may take over one and a half years. Hence, Gandhi in a formal letter dated May 11, has urged chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to immediately fill the four vacant posts to safeguard the spirit of the RTI Act.

Gandhi has also urged the state government to consider eminent RTI activists for the job.

Read: Maharashtra information commissioner wants RTI Act to be amended

“More than 5000 cases are pending in the Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Amravati divisions, including over 10,000 in Nashik alone. The disposal rate of each commissioner is 300 cases per year, and with this rate, the disposal of pending cases would need at least one more year, if they decide to speed up the disposal to 5000 cases,”Gandhi told HT

“This pendency is defeating the provision in the law, which says the citizen has fundamental right to get the information in 30 days. The law has the provision of appointing 11 commissioners, and I have requested chief minister Fadnavis to fill all the posts at one go,” he said.

In his letter, Gandhi has also requested the appointment of at least two commissioners from the fraternity of the RTI activists, who know the Act thoroughly and would work transparently in the interest of serving the purpose of the law.

He also has urged the CM to not keep the post of the chief information commissioner vacant after the incumbent Ratnakar Gaikwad retires later this month. “You are also requested to consider a transparent process for the short listing of a panel out of which the final selection is done by the committee, as laid down in section 15(3)of the RTI Act. The thriving RTI regime will help you to achieve your aim of transparency,” the letter stated.

Maharashtra has seven information commissioners and one Central Information Commission (CIC).

First Published: May 12, 2017 14:16 IST