India

Steps suggested for fast and effective disposal of petitions pending at CIC

Central Chief Information Commissioner has partially succeeded in tackling with huge pendency of about 40000 and daily adding petitions at Central Information Commission (CIC). But more can and should be done to create an ideal situation of time-bound disposal of all petitions coming for second appeal at CIC..

Computerised data-base in different formats should be prepared whereby it may be possible to track a consolidated list of all petitions (separately for those under section 18 and 19 of RTI Act) filed both for individual public-authority and petitioner. Whenever a petition is fixed for hearing, all petitions of that particular petitioner with same public-authority may be listed for hearing simultaneously at one single time. It will save huge time consumed in hearing on different dates with same set of petitioner and public authority. Commissioners which if not following practice of summoning one public-authority on a day should be asked to do so also to save huge spent of man-hours and conveyance-charges of public-authorities.

Thought should be given for a public-hearing of complaints filed under section 18 of RTI Act according to public-authority after asking petitioners if they still wanted to pursue complaints. This can be done on lines of fast-track disposal of court cases through Lok Adalats.

First hearing on any petition should be taken as interim hearing with a second date fixed for ensuring compliance of directions given at first hearing. Not much time is likely to be required for second hearing because fixing date of compliance mandatorily will result in auto-compliance of CIC-directions by date of second hearing. Only one post-lunch session in a week may be practically enough for second hearing of petitions.

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