SRINAGAR: Compliance with the J&K RTI Act requiring more and more proactive disclosure of information is still not satisfactory in a majority of the public authorities in J&K, reveals a study released at the commencement of the ninth year of implementation of the Act in the State.
As per a statement issued here, a preliminary report on the findings from rapid study of compliance of public authorities with section 4(1) (b) of J&K RTI Act was released at the event “Celebrating 13 years of Right of Information in J&K” on Monday. The event was organised by J&K RTI Movement and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi at the Institute of Management, Public Administration and Rural Development (IMPA), Srinagar.
The report was prepared by Adv Syed Iram Quadri and Adv Bilal Ahmad Bhat of J&K RTI Movement and School for Rural Development and Environment and John Mascrinaus and Venkatesh Nayak from Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. This is the first such research done by the J&K RTI Movement since the beginning of the RTI era in J&K.
Ghulam Rasool Sofi, former State Chief Information Commissioner lamented that there is no provision for penalising any officer in a public authority for not complying with the proactive disclosure requirements under the RTI Act. He urged the activists to campaign for amendment to the J&K RTI Act to ensure timely filling up if vacancies in the Information Commission.
Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairperson J&K RTI Movement introduced the objectives of the event and said J&K RTI Movement is keen to enhance the implementation of proactive disclosure throughout the state of J&K. He said in two districts we have already started and will further carry out the required research in this regard.
Mufti Islah, senior journalist and Bureau Cheif CNN-IBN appreciated the J&K RTI Movement saying he has travelled to far-flung areas of J&K with the said Movement and has seen the grassroots activists actively using RTI on ground. He said many stories have come to the fore with RTI requests that had a widespread impact.