The RTI Act has no provision to compel the appellant to attend the hearing of the PIO, AA and SIC/CIC. Due to the distance involved and the general practice of the Commission ignoring the oral contentions of the appellant during hearing the appellant may not prefer to travel to the sanctum sanctorium of the CIC/SICs incurring enormous expenditure and inconveniences. But normally there may not be much problem for the appellant to attend to the hearing at AAs Office. My experience so far reveal that whenever an appellant get opportunity for being heard by the AA, generally the results are positive except in special cases.
I feel that in case the respective governments make Rules compelling the AAs to give the appellant an opportunity for being heard when such appellant irequest for personal hering, things are likely to improve. The AAs should be instructed to record the contentions of the appellant during such hearing and the decision of the AA should be reasoned with reference to the contentions of the appellent during such hearing. Adherence of such a practice will necessitate only those cases warrnting interpretation of the Act to rech the Commission.