|For JKSRTC, freight rate-list falls under most-confidential category info |
|Asks RTI applicant to submit affidavit for not disclosing information to anyon|
|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Sept 14: The Deputy General Manager (Load) of Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) has manipulated the RTI Act in such a way that he has made a simple information, about freight rate list, as most confidential, thus asking the RTI applicant to submit an affidavit for not disclosing it to anyone.
According to the documents, Dalvinder Singh S/o Swaran Singh resident of Transport Nagar Narwal had sought, attested copies of freight rate list for carrying load (foodgrains) 77 qunitals/9 tons/15 tons and 21 tons to different stations of Jammu province, on the basis of which SRTC makes claims from Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Department to be paid to the contractor engaged for carriage of food grain. He had also demanded from SRTC to provide freight rate list for carrying food grains from local mills to local stations.
But quite surprise to the applicant, the SRTC management manipulated the RTI Act of the state and made a simple information, easily furnished by CAPD department to the applicant, as most confidential.
Vide letter number JKSRTC/TML/J/478 dated 5/9/2019, it submitted, "As directed by Deputy General Manager (Load), JKSRTC Srinagar, you are herby informed to submit written letter of undertaking on judicial papers with the restriction contained in Section 8&9of the Act to the office of undersigned for further course of action by Traffic Manager (Load), JKSRTC.
Expressing surprise and concern, an RTI activist said that the rate-list didn't fall under the exempted section of the RTI Act, under which mostly the cases pertain to national security fall.
"I have filed over thousands of applications but in not a single case, information was denied on such flimsy grounds", the activist said, adding that if an applicant would not be able to use the information, then what was the rationale of getting the information.
The activist further claimed that from the attitude of SRTC management it appeared that they have not even read the Act, in which there was no such clause of demanding an affidavit. "Same information is already provided by the CAPD Department, then why such tactics have been adopted by SRTC, needs to be investigated", he said