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Departments asked to act on RTI
Published on 10 Jul. 2009 1:00 AM IST
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State government has reiterated on proper implementation of Right to Information Act 2005 while taking note that many departments were ignoring the Act and information sought are not replied positively and within the stipulated date. An office memorandum issued by commissioner and secretary department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (P&AR) Temjen Toy reiterated that Right to Information Act, 2005 adopted by state government need to be adhered and implemented by all departments. It stated that Section 5 and 9 has directed all government departments/corporations to designate offices as Appellate Authority/Public Information Officer and Assistant Public Information Officers. Whenever any appointed/nominated Appellate Authorities, PIOs and APIOs are transferred/retire from their respective Departments, the responsible departments are to re-appoint/nominate other Appellate Authorities, PIOs and APIOs respectively. Under Section 4(1) (B) of the Act, each departments and public sector undertakings of the state are required to prepare and publish a manual of the departments giving the particulars of the organization, powers and duties, rules, regulation, instructions, manuals and records, held by it, directory of its officers and employees and particulars of all plans, programmes of the department etc. Section 25(1)(2)(3) directs all departments to prepare annual reports and submit to the Chief Information Officer (CIC) which the CIC will place during the Assembly Session, a DIPR report informed. In another circular P&AR department has highlighted the decision of the High Court of Bombay at Goa, dated April 3, 2008 in Writ Petition No. 419 of 2007 in the case of Dr. Celsa Pinto Vs. Goa State Information Commission under the right to Information Act, 2005, with regard to the definition of the term ‘information’. The relevant part of the judgement stated that “The definition cannot include within its fold answers to the question ‘why’ which would be same thing as asking the reason for a justification for a particular thing. The public Information authorities cannot expect to communicate to the Citizen the reason why a certain thing was done or not done in the sense of a justification because the citizen makes a requisition about information. Justifications are matter within the domain of adjudicating authorities and cannot properly be classified as information.”

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