‘Info Commissions biggest threat to RTI’
New Delhi: As he prepares to demit office on Friday after a nearly four-year stint at the Central Information Commission, Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi feels that biggest threat to RTI regime in the country is from Information Commissions themselves.
Gandhi also says rising pendency of cases with Information Commissions would leave the citizens disenchanted with the transparency law.
The 65-year old Information Commissioner, who paid interns from his own pocket for ensuring quick and efficient processing of case files, said in an interview to a news agency that RTI faces three major threats - lowest from the government, then judicial processes and highest threat is from Information Commissions themselves.
"The highest threat is from the Commissions where already there are cases that are pending for two and three years for a law that is seven years old. If it continues like this, in the next five years the pendency is likely to be three to five years at which point the common man will run away from this just as he has run away from most of judicial and quasi judicial processes.
And if that happens, RTI is dead. RTI will continue to remain just for commissions and commissioners which would be very sad," Gandhi said.
An entrepreneur-turned-activist and IIT alumnus Gandhi, would be demitting his office tomorrow after nearly four year stint with the Central Information Commission during which he decided 16,000 petitions, maximum among all Information Commissioners.
During his tenure, Gandhi pushed for some progressive ideas in the CIC like Citizens` charter, digitisation of records, paperless offices, rationalisation of administrative man-power to ensure pendency of cases is reduced but did not get much support from within the Commission.
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