SRINAGAR: A fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before Jammu and Kashmir High court for implementation of section 4 and 23 of J&K Right to Information Act, 2009.
The petition has been filed on grounds that disclosure of information under the RTI Act, 2009 be voluntarily disclosed for public good and awareness be generated among masses within the meaning of section 23 of the Act.
The petition filed by Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Movement (J&K RTI Movement) through its Chairman Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat states that the preamble of the J&K RTI Act, 2009 lays down an objective of the law in wider and specific terms to the effect that the legislation will promote transparency and accountability in the working of the public authorities in order to ensure good governance in the state.
The petition filed by Advocate Shafkat Nazir said, “That the section 4 and section 23 of the J&K RTI Act categorically states that every public authority shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed. The authority should have all the records and should publish this information within 120 days. The information must include powers and duties of officers, the procedure followed in the decision making process, rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, all should be disclosed to general masses.”
“Also the information should be disclosed through different means of media channels and the information should be given to the public at regular intervals,” he added.
The petition prays that the court must take cognizance of the matter so that all the permissible information is made available to the public within 120 days from the date of commencement of the act. The act came to force on 20th March 2009 and by July 19, 2009, the authorities were expected to comply with the said provision of law. “However no information has been disclosed voluntarily by the authorities as they failed miserably in the implementation of the said sections of the law,” the petition reads.