As Reported By G Manjusainath, Deccan Herald News Service, Bangalore Sunday, June 15, 2008
The Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) is crying for more teeth for the effective implementation of the RTI Act in the State.
With growing incidents of Public Information Officers ignoring the KIC’s ruling and the superiors overlooking the order to recover penalty, the KIC authorities have decided to approach the new government to arm them with the power of contempt of court.
“The recent incident of Mangala Dalvi is only one example. There are several others. The problem is that we are not empowered to carry the contempt of court proceedings. Our hands are tied,” said a top source at KIC, requesting anonymity.
The source added that in Karnataka the RTI is performing well as the pendency of cases is just 2000, whereas in UP and Maharashra, the pendency is nearly 50,000.
The RTI Act in those states had almost died with the increase in pendency of cases.
Regarding the amendment of section 14, which has triggered a debate among the RTI activists and other social activists, the top source said the amendment was necessary to prevent its misuse.
Act will haunt
“It’s a beautiful Act and it dies when people misuse it and haunt the PIOs with unnecessary questions. The Act is just a replicate of the provision mentioned for the MLAs or MPs. They too are asked to limit their questions within 125 words. Actually 125 words are enough to ask any question. The amendment says the subject matter should not be more than one. What is wrong with the amendment? It is in the fitness of the Act,” said the source.