Saturday, August 07, 2010

Discord over piling up of petitions before Kerala State Information

The Kerala State Information Commission is faced with a large backlog of appeal petitions, and the problem is worsening day by day. Vacancies in the Commission and staff shortages and lack of proper systems added to the problem. Appeal petitions now take more than 15 months to be disposed off. The State Chief Information Commissioner Palat Mohandas and Commissioners V. V. Giry and K. Rajagopal differ on the number of pending cases and the reasons for that, though they agree that pendency is going up.

According to the annual report of the Commission for 2009-10, the Commission received 1256 complaints (on non-disposal of requests and other omissions and commissions by State public information officers) and 1556 second appeals on decisions of public authorities in 2009-10. During the same period 1350 complaints and 842 appeals were disposed-off. However, according to data furnished by the two commissioners, only 226 appeals were disposed off during the period. The Commission has received 4678 appeal petitions between January 2006 and June 2010. Of this only 61 per cent could be disposed of. At the end of June this year, 1848 appeals were waiting disposal.

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