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Confusion prevails over RTI domain in JK
1/13/2020 11:17:24 PM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early times report

SRINAGAR, Jan 13: Confusion prevails over domain of Right To Information even after over two months have passed since Jammu and Kashmir became the Union Territory.
At least seven commissions including State Information Commission were closed by the Centre through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 on October 31.
Over two months have passed since Jammu and Kashmir became Union Territory, uncertainty continuous whether Jammu and Kashmir would come under the purview of Central Information Commission or a separate Commission would be constituted.
An official said over 230 second appeals and 140 complaints under the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act were pending for disposal in the SIC when it was dissolved.
“Pending cases are being treated just a pile of files until a new Commission is given power to address them,” he said.
An official of General Administration Department said government is yet to decide whether Central Information Commission would be extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Government should have made an alternate arrangement before repealing the state acts,” the official said.
In last week of November 2019, government constituted a five member committee to take a call on Right to Information (RTI) Act after it stands revoked.
The committee headed by Administrative Secretary General Administrative Department was to examine whether the new Union Territory would come under the purview of Central Information Commission or a separate Commission has to be constituted for the region. It was to submit report by December 26.
A member of the committee said they were yet to submit report to the government.
“The committee was also to spell out the actions required to be taken like re-designation of public information officers and other functionaries under the Act if Jammu Kashmir comes under Central Information Commission,” the member said, wishing not to be quoted by name.
The SIC was functioning with just one information commissioner. It had been left without a head for more than a year before it was wound up last year.
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