Tuesday, October 12, 2010

5 years, 767 cases, Bengal info panel paints a sorry picture

Exactly five years ago, the Right To Information Act came into effect in the country. But in West Bengal, the State Information Commission, which has the responsibility to make the Act the effective, has instead become defunct in these years. Since August 5, 2010, the day Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Arun Bhattacharya retired, the commission has not conducted any hearing. “After the CIC retired on August 5, there is only one information commissioner. As per section 15 (2) of the Act there should be a CIC and other state information commissioners. With only one information commissioner, the commission is not operative,” said a senior official of the commission. And that’s precisely is the situation in State Information Commission in West Bengal. After the CIC retired, Sujit Sarkar is the only information commisoner. In the last two months, the state government failed to appoint a second information commisoner when it has already spent Rs 13.80 lakh on the commission.

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