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RTI act still not properly implemented in state

IMPHAL, Jan 25: The Right to Information Act, 2005 may be an effective tool for fighting against corruption in other parts of the country, but the implementation of this act in the state is still in a sorry state victimizing the information seekers rather than providing the necessary information. 
Addressing a press meet at the office of Human Rights Law Network, Imphal, the RTI activist W. Joykumar stated that he had sought information from the state home department under the provision of RTI regarding the number of inquiry commissions conducted in the state under the Inquiry Act, 1957 for the period 1980 to 2006 on February 9, 2007 and another information regarding the magisterial inquiries along with action taken reports for the period 1980 to 2006 on May 19, 2007. Both RTI applications were considered by the state information commissioner and thereof issued orders to the concerned SPIO (joint secretary of home department) on May 30, 2007 and August 14, 2007 respectively to make the information available to the applicant.
However, the state government filed a petition to the Gauhati High Court challenging the order of information commissioner. A single bench of the Gauhati High court upheld the order of the information commissioner directing the SPIO to make the information available to the applicant.
The state government again filed a petition to the
Gauhati High Court and thereupon a division bench quashed the order of the information commissioner on July 29, 2009 saying that the commissioner had acted much beyond his jurisdiction.
W. Joykumar under the initiative of Supreme Court advocate Collin Gonsalves filed a special leave petition to the Supreme Court on November 8, 2001 and subsequently a notice returnable within 16 weeks was issued on December 6, 2010 with respondents as the chief secretary of Manipur and joint secretary of home department, Manipur.
The leave petition filed by Joykumar will again be heard at the Supreme Court on April 8, 2011.
Regarding the implementation of RTI in Manipur, Joykumar stated that there is need for more RTI activists in the state. The present trend of negligence on the part of SPIOs to disseminate necessary information to the RTI applications is a set back in the overall implementation of RTI in the country which has been formulated by the government to fight against corruption.



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