I find that the working of SCIC, UP, Lucknow is not practical, especially from the point of view of complainants living far away from Lucknow, his headquarters. UP is a big state and most of the complainants, as myself living in Noida, are situated far away from Lucknow. The only action that SCIC, UP takes on 2<SUP>nd</SUP> appeals submitted to him under RTIA05 is to fix a date for hearing on the appeal long after the appeal was submitted and directs both parties to be present at the hearing. The appellant, being situated far away from SCIC office, is not able to be present personally and the appeal is decided in his absence. To top it, the orders issued after the hearing are also not communicated to the complainant even though it is clearly provided in section 19(9) of RTIA05 that SCIC shall give notice of it’s decision, including any right to appeal, to the complainant and the public authority after the hearing. In this regard, the procedure adopted by CCIC, Delhi is very nice and is suggested for being adopted by SCIC, UP, Lucknow as also the other SCICs. CCIC, Delhi, soon after receipt of 2<SUP>nd</SUP> appeal under RTIA05, directs the respondent public authority to offer their comments on the appeal under intimation to the appellant within 15 working days from the date of issue of their letter failing which further action would be initiated by him. The appellant is directed to send a rejoinder on the comments thus received from the respondent before the date for hearing, if any required, is fixed. The appelant usually always is satisfied after receipt of such comments and recommends closure of the case through his rejoinder without the need of any hearing. If however, the appellant through his rejoinder, still feels dissatisfied, the hearing is f ixed by CCIC and his decision is duly informed to the appellant and the respondent for action. It is suggested that NGOs etc may like to take up this matter with SCIC, UP, Lucknow and other SCICs for action if deemed fit in public nterest.
Today in the era of information technology, distance does not matter much.
Innovative solutions of transmission of proceeding of SCIC and giving oral hearing over phone can be a good idea at fraction of the cost.