CIC contemplating Citizen`s Charter
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 19:54
  
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission is considering implementing a Citizen's Charter committing itself to "expeditiously" disposing of appeals and complaints.

A proposal in this regard has been mooted by Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi who had presented a draft Citizen's Charter in the recent meeting of the Commission.

Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra has directed the staff to put it up for discussion among all the Information Commissioners in December 27 meeting of the Commission.

Sources in the Commission said the move has seen strong opposition from its legal department which is of the view that there is no precedence of such a charter in any judicial or quasi-judicial body in the country.

During a recent meeting of the Commission, the minutes of which have been made public, Joint Secretary (Law) at the CIC informed the Commission that since the Citizen Charter is now part of the Lokpal Bill currently under consideration in Parliament, it would be advisable to wait for the final outcome in Parliament in this regard.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the Commission, however, directed the Secretary to place the draft Citizen's Charter in its forthcoming meeting.

The draft Citizen's Charter mandates implementation of efficient work practices within CIC, systemic reviews of the functions of the Commission by the citizens, a complaint cell to take cognisance of grievances against the CIC or its staff and most importantly committing itself to quick disposal of appeals and complaints received by it.

The Commission which has about 20,000 pending appeals before it is striving hard to meet the challenges posed by the piling up of cases even as four posts of Information Commissioners remain vacant.

The move will ensure that the Commission commits itself to dispose a particular percentage of appeals and complainst within a given period.

At every stage of processing of RTI application and appeals, the RTI Act has given a mandatory time limit but for second appeals which come before Commission there is no such limit.

The sources in the Commission said sticking to mandatory time frame for disposing of complaints will reduce the pending complaints as well as ensure timely delivery of information to RTI applicants.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 19:54


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