RTI Activists deliberately harassed by PIOs of JMC

· RS Jamwal
[ September 14, 2017 ] · PIOs not well versed with J&K RTI ACT · PIO/JC(W), JMC dishonoured Commissioner/FAA JMC Order Apex Court of the country in several cases has held that the right to Information is implicit in the constitutionally enshrined rights to freedom of speech and expression. The main thrust of Act is to change the culture of hide and seek that has long plagued state’s monolithic and opaque bureaucracy. The spirit of the Act is to reverse culture of secrecy and unaccountability and to appreciate its fundamentals. It requires public authorities to disclose all information about their activities proactively and maintained all information in such a manner that facilitates the people’s right to information. J&K RTI Act 2009 empowers its citizens to obtain the desired information from public authorities and the objective of the same was ensuring much needed transparency and accountability as well as good governance. No denying the fact, it’s only people’s participation that can strengthen and contribute for quality of good governance. It’s a universal truth that the Govt at all levels must be accessible, accountable and transparent and its only accountability which can eliminate corruption but unfortunately majority of Govt departments have not yet accepted the fact that willingly they have to dispensed with the information available at their disposal. PIOs of the state are not only blocking the information but have gone a step ahead and have not honoured the orders of First appellate authorities which raises a serious question that as a custodian of information why PIOs are afraid of providing information resting with them. Jammu Municipal Corporation known for all bad reasons is one of the organizations whose PIOs are not inclined to dispense with the record available with them despite instructions from JMC Commissioner IAS M Raju. Information was asked from JMC PIOs on 2-5-2017 with regard to de-silting of Nallah passing through Shakti Nagar having its measuring length and breadth and amount spent on its cleanliness. Assistant Commissioner Revenue provided incomplete information on 14-6-2017 vide No. JMC/S/RTI/478 stating that with regard to serial No. 1 and 3 of the ibid stated RTI Application awaited from Joint Commissioner works, JMC. First appeal was preferred on July 5th and the case was heard by Commissioner JMC and vide order No. MJ/ESST/3631-33 direction was passed to provide available information within weeks time and same was also acknowledged during hearing by concerned PIO. Till day above mentioned order of JMC is gathering dust with Joint Commissioner Works and information asked with regard to width of Shakti Nagar Nallah and amount spent on its de-silting during above stated period still awaited.