RTI second appeals redirected to lower rung

Another activist Vijay Kumbhar said the Information Commissioner should invoke Section 19(8) of the Act and ensure effective disposal of applications, instead of shouldering the responsibility of another.

The Pune bench of the Commission had, by end of December 2012, a total of 5,097 second appeal applications pending. An average of around one-and-a-half-year is required for single application to come for hearing before the Commission.

An activist said, "What if an RTI applicant, after being directed back to appellate authorities, does not get the desired information and seeks to approach the Commission again? Will it not be that his number would be that of pendency plus one and he has to wait for a year again for his turn to put his side before the Commission?"

To these apprehensions, Shah said the Commission could consider such applicants separately. "The new process evolved by us is proving effective. In Pune division, around 50 per cent of second appeals is disposed of without hearing before the Commission," said Shah, who also holds additional charge of Mumbai division.

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