CIC contemplating Citizen`s Charter

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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