`CIC still getting RTI applications personal in nature`

The Right to Information Act has not been properly understood by a large number of people even after seven years of its implementation.

Updated: Nov 17, 2012, 20:37 PM IST

Lucknow: The Right to Information Act has not been properly understood by a large number of people even after seven years of its implementation as the Commission is still getting applications personal in nature, Chief Information Commissioner Satyanand Mishra said on Saturday.

"After seven years in existence RTI Act was not properly understood by the people and many applications were personal in natures and this practice should stop and information must be sought in public interest," Mishra said.

The RTI was a law of common men, it has its genesis in peoples` movement and the government has just accepted and translated the spirit of the transparency movements in the form of RTI Act 2005, he said.

He was speaking at the seventh RTI National Seminar organised by Foundation for Peoples` Right to Information here.

The CIC said that this law would take some time to establish itself and there was no need to be pessimistic for its future.

"It was only due to the pressure of the people that the government has to back the proposed amendments in the RTI Act," he said.

He said that effective implementation of RTI Act was linked to the larger reform in administration.

It is a part of administration and it cannot be seen in isolation, he said.

"Today the middle class seems to be disappointed, but I am hopeful regarding the act," Mishra said adding that at the central government level the act was being implemented more effectively.

"During 2011-12, government received 10 lakh applications out of which 25,000 cases came to the commission in the form of appeals of which we have disposed of 75 per cent of the cases," the CIC said.

He said there were some practical difficulties in the implementation of RTI act and there was a need for deeper discussion on this issue by government, civil society and media.

Welcoming the guest chief coordinator of FPRI Afzal
Ansari highlighted the present position regarding the implementation of the Act in states.

He said the conditions of its implementation in Uttar Pradesh was not very good.
There were 32,180 cases pending in the UPSIC and the biggest issue was that of timely disposal of RTI applications, he said.

Presiding over the seminar retired justice Kamleshwar Nath said that Public Information Officers were not fulfilling their legal obligation under the act.

"There should be proper monitoring of the RTI application by the head of the department of the every government department," he said.