New Delhi: Concerned over a string of attacks
on RTI activists, the Central Information Commission(CIC) has
asked state governments to take "urgent" steps to safeguard
the life and liberty of information seekers.
"They(state governments) should invoke the relevant penal
provisions for the prevention and detection of such heinous
crimes," the Commission observed at its recent meeting.
Regretting the "reported killings" of RTI activists and
assault on them in different parts of the country, the
transparency panel also said it will take proactive steps in
ascertaining the status of probe in such cases.
The meeting chaired by Chief Information Commissioner
Satyananda Mishra resolved that if any complaint regarding
assault or murder of an RTI activist comes before it, it "will
examine the pending RTI applications of the victim and order
the concerned department to publish the requested information
suo moto on their web site as per the provisions of law."
"The Commission also resolves that it will take proactive
steps in ascertaining the status of investigations and
prosecution of cases involving information seekers and
endeavour to have these processes expedited," the resolution
Acording to some estimates, at least 12 RTI activists
were killed while many others attacked between January 2010
and August 2011.
Shehla Masood from Bhopal, Amit Jethwa from Gujarat,
Dattatreya Patil, a farmer from Kolhapur and Shashidhar
Mishra, a street vendor from Begusarai in Bihar were among
those who lost their lives.