New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the Central Information Commission's annual convention organised to discuss various issues pertaining to the the Right to Information Act, which completes 10 years.
Barring 2010, either the President or the Prime Minister had addressed the inaugural or valedictory function of the convention on various issues related to transparency since 2006.
Last year, there was no convention because the government had not appointed any Chief Information Commissioner, who happens to be administrative head of the Commission and oversees preparations of the function.
Sources said Modi was invited to the function and the dates were also shifted from October 12 to October 16 to suit the PMO schedule but later it was conveyed that he will not be able to attend the convention, in which former and serving Information Commissioners, activists, legal experts and intellectuals gather to dicuss issues of transparency.
According to the new schedule, the programme has also been cut short with no valedictory function. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will address the inaugural function whereas a small concluding session will take place next day afternoon.
The one-and-a-half-day long programme will have 4-5 technical sessions. The topics for the sessions will cover implementation and the strengthening of various aspects of the RTI Act.
The Commission has also planned to have state-level workshops in the build up to the annual convention.
The Right to Information Act came into force on October 12, 2005 after a long struggle by activists. It was lauded as the most empowering law passed by Parliament where any citizen could seek any information, barring prohibited ones, from the government on a mere payment of Rs 10.
The information should be provided within 30 days but with the bureaucracy showing reluctance to share even ordinary pieces of information, the pendency of cases at the CIC has gone up to 35,000.