Poor show by Orissa information commission

It takes two to three years to dispose a case


Danish Raza | March 2, 2010

The Orissa Information Commission (OIC) has come under sharp attack for its sluggish pace of work. According to the RTI activists, it takes two to three years to dispose a case. More than 5,000 cases were pending before the commission by the end of December 2009.

These facts came to light during a public review of OIC's functioning in Bhubaneswar recently. It was attended by activists from Boudh,
Koraput, Bolangir, Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Sambalpur.

Pradip Pradhan, state convener of the Right to Food Campaign, said at the meeting that inefficiency on the part of the commission had
rendered the RTI Act meaningless in the state. Pradhan said in 2008, the chief information commissioner in the OIC disposed off 42 cases
per month, on an average, as against 267 cases per month by Shialesh Gandhi,  a member of the Central Information Commission.

Harishankar Panigrahi, a complainant from Sambalpur narrated his experience: “On one occasion I was not allowed to speak and when I
tried to speak the information commissioner threatened to put me behind the bars."

The activists passed a resolution for effective implementation of the RTI Act in the state and said the commission should provide copy of
the decision to all parties concerned within 7 days of the date of hearing. They also asked the government to consult them before making
any changes in the RTI rules.



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