CHENNAI: RTI activists in the city are up in arms against the State Information Commissioner K S Sripathi terming his reply to an appeal by an R A Puram-based activist as ‘waste of time’ .
“I am still puzzled and agitated over the unwarranted reply from K S Sripathi on my RTI plea on TN police department where he stated that the Commission cannot be wasting its time to resolve disputes based on vague letters,” R Natarajan, a research scholar and an RTI activist, told Express.
Natarajan was pursuing an order passed by G Ramakrishnan, former SIC, in July last year on imposing penalty of Rs 25,000 on a PIO of Tamil Nadu Police department for failing to provide information to him on his plea.
Natarajan said, “Since the concerned PIO dodged my queries on whether the (July 2010) order was implemented and the amount had been indeed deducted from the PIO’s salary, I moved another RTI plea for inspection of files concerned.” With the DGP office’s Appellate Authority remaining evasive and giving him irrelevant replies, Natarajan moved the State Information Commission, which in turn directed the DGP office to allow him to inspect the relevant files.
Despite being armed with the order, Satya Priya, APIO in the DGP Office, refused to show the relevant files to Natarajan and simply handed over a letter to him, which the public authority forwarded to the State Information Commission.
Dejected over their evasive ways, Natarajan once again approached the State Information Commission for implementation of its order.
At this juncture, the State Chief Information Commissioner, acting on Natarajan’s latest appeal, passed an order saying, “The Commission cannot be wasting its time to resolve such disputes based on vague letters.” “When it is the duty of the State Information Commission to see that its orders are fully complied with, I do not understand how I was wasting the Commission’s time by representing the same,” questioned Natarajan.
“The Information Commission cannot and should not use such words in reply to RTI applicantions as it goes beyond the scope of the very agency that has been entrusted with the job of providing information,” lamented John Lopez, president and chief executive of the city-based Right to Information Movement (RIM).
Meanwhile, Natarajan filed a fresh application� with the Commission two days ago and sought its direction to inspect the files at the office of Director General of Police.
The very attitude of the tn cic is like this type only. He has in the capacity of chief secretary of tamil nadu, challenged many orders of information commission, before the court of law. Unfortunately he is the present cic of tn sic. He always favour to police and top bureaucrats. No of activists from tamil nadu has to file applications similar to mr.natarajan's one, so as to break this attitude