EffectEmployment of Bada Baboos in Information Commission
Our rulers mistook RTI Activist's outcry over their employment of retired bureaucrates in Information Commission. We are not oppossing because of the their employment as an act of gratification to services favourably rendered; but because of their non-suitability to the job. The mindset of more than 30 years service of the Bada Baboos cannot be changed overnight.The very enactment of the RTI Act is to rectify the damages caused to the cityzen by their mind-set. If that be the case how can the bada baboos settle the disputes ? They will continue to settle the issue as per the only practice known to them. This is the root cause of many a problem.
These Baboos are used to a particular style of tackling petetions from public. In such cases they are expected to go into the root cause of the problem, its develoipment, present position and consequences of its redressal. But in the case of request or denial of information under RTI Act, it does not warrant such a probe.All he has to do is to examine whether the informtion is held by the PA and does not come under any of the exceptions etc. The information sought might be a key stone in a case. If that key stone or piece of information when correctly placed might expose a larger plan or a conspiracy or fraud or fabrication or corruption. For examaple, in a land case there could be prolonged litigations, enquires, examination of title deeds etc in case of conflicting claims. By using RTI a cityzen can simply ask the particulars of basic title transfer deed under which the revenue authorities are showing a particular person as owner. Such a simpl information can settle all the issues on that piece of land.
In general the PIOs are relectunt to provide such information which can become a key stone. In such cases they get into unnecessary and irrelevant probe and come out with various aspects and background of the case implying as to how this information cannot be furnished. The AAs follow suit. When it reach the second appeal stage the Commission too get into the same vicious circle. One hardly find crisp orders of SICs where he has examained the appliction strictly in terms of the RTI Act. ie., order to provide the information if it is held and does not fall under the exceptions
Unless the SICs get rid of their habit of probing the history of the case instead of limitting their examination from RTI point of view alone, the cityzen cannot benefit much from the RTI Act.
Re: EffectEmployment of Bada Baboos in Information Commission
You have mentioned that----They will continue to settle the issue as per the only practice known to them. This is the root cause of many a problem.
Recently one of my friends received a totally biased order from the SIC. Without providing facility of appearing in the second appeal hearing , SIC of his own opined that the PIO had acted properly and by this way Commission overlooked all the points raised , which were definitely against the PIO and did not mention at all. Rather Commission had praised the activity of that PIO, who was supposed to be penalised by the SIC. I really don't know what is to be done in this matter of ' hand in gloves' nature of the SIC with the PIOs.