Says Central RTI Act 2005 not applicable in J&K
Srinagar: The Garrison Engineer of Air Force works wing has declined information under Central RTI Act 2005 to an applicant, while stating that the act was not applicable in Jammu & Kashmir.
Former employees of the department had filed an application under RTI Act 2005 (central act) seeking information about hiring of technical staff for manning and operation of MES complaint cell at OMQ, SMQ and 90B power house at Air Force Station Srinagar, and manning and operations of DG sets, installing of standby power supply at 1 Wing AF Station Srinagar.
As per the tender documents the staff to be hired should be Xth class pass outs and ITI diploma holder.
The applicants want to know if the hired staff have the requisite qualification.
They had sought the list of appointees with name, parentage and address, and copies of their qualification certificates, but were surprised with the reply.
“It is submitted that RTI Act 2005 is not applicable to State of Jammu & Kashmir. In view of the above your application along with the postal order bearing No: 40 F 602965 Dated: 23.3.2018 for Rs 10 is returned here with unactioned,” the reply read.
The applicants said the case is now pending at State Information Commission, and that they have filed another RTI application under J&K RTI Act 2009 to which they are yet to receive a reply.
If central RTI Act of 2005 is not applicable to Air Force 1 Wing Srinagar it means J&K RTI Act 2009 applies to them, they said.
“If they said 2005 RTI act is not applicable to them then they must provide information under RTI Act 2009, but more than two months has gone they are yet to provide the information under the act,” said RTI activist Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat
He added that central public authority working in the state is a constitutional body and as such is a Public Authority, hence J&K State RTI Act, 2009 is applicable to it.
Chief Engineer of Garrison Engineer did not respond to repeated calls and texts from this reporter.
“We are hired on contract basis and every year we have to apply again and in this list we were not selected and in our place some non-technical people were appointed who did not have mandatory four years experience and ITI diploma. In addition more people were hired who too are allegedly unqualified. We want to know who has been appointed and this is the main reason we filed the RTI,” the applicants said.