In a first of its kind initiative, the Tripura Right to Information Act (RTI) Commission recently introduced an online system for registering complaints and second appeals. The commission has also given three landmark directives that allow government employees to see their Annual Confidential Report (ACR), Departmental Promotions Committee (DPC) minutes as well as the caste status of public servants.
"These three judgments have set precedence in the country and are now being considered in other states as well," said B K Chakrabarty, chief information commissioner (CIC) here.
With the introduction of the online system recently, complainants and applicants can see their appeal status and judgments on the internet.
The Tripura RTI Commission has hitherto received about 20,000 applications and 95 per cent of them have been addressed by concerned officials. "We received 302 fresh complaints and 151 second appeals in cases where the departmental appellate authority failed to satisfy the applicants. Of these, we have already addressed 431 cases," said Chakrabarty.
The most important case among these was that of an IAS officer who moved the commission regarding his ACR inspection. The commission ruled that a government employee was eligible to see his or her ACR. The government moved the high court challenging the commission's order. But the court upheld the commission's directive.
Similarly, the RTI Commission ruled in favour of two important appeals one allowing employees to see the DPC minutes pertaining to them and the other relating to information in regards to SC/ST status of a government employee. In this case, information was sought on the ST status of a medical officer, which was denied by the concerned authority. In these two cases, too, the state government authorities moved the high court, which, again, subscribed to the commission's directives. "These three directives, in particular, were virtually landmark judgments that have been taken into cognizance all over the country and are being followed," said the CIC.
The clandestine activities in awarding ACRs for an employee will now be open. All PSUs, Govt. & Private sectors should follow the Judgment and directive. There are several Orders of SC(Civil Appeal N. 7631 OF 2002, Dev Ditt vs Union of India), HCs(WA.No. 2781 of 2009, Kerala HC) and ICs(Full bench decision CIC/WB/A/2007/00422 & F.No.CIC/SG/A/2011/000464/12432 of IC SG) in support of disclosing ACRs.