Wednesday, December 10, 2008

RTI fails to bail out hapless applicant

The Right to Information (RTI) Act has a long way to go before it becomes a potent tool for the common man in the state. There is scant regard for the orders passed by the State Information Commission (SIC) and the case of one Dev Dutt Sharma can be a befitting example of the same. Sharma's case after landing up at the commission in 2006 has been heard by five different commissioners and has seen 14 hearings. Yet another hearing is marked for December 18. Interestingly, all the commissioners have issued showcause notices to the opposite party, in this case -- director, higher education and finance controller, higher education, asking them why should not they be penalised for not releasing the information under RTI to Sharma. Despite this, the applicant has not received the complete information that he had sought under RTI. Sharma's wife was a lecturer in Shri Narayan Girls Degree College, Unnao. It was after she expired in 1998 that he had asked the college authorities to release her arrears to him. But, despite several letters shot off to director, higher education, the arrears were not released.

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