RTI- UP Govt Fails To Comply 48-hour Timeline For Info n Life and Personal Liberty: Lawyer Writes to SIC

first_imgNews UpdatesRTI- UP Govt Fails To Comply 48-hour Timeline For Info n Life and Personal Liberty: Lawyer Writes to SIC LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK10 March 2021 6:46 AMShare This – xA Lucknow based Advocate, Syed Mohammad Haider Rizvi, has made a representation before the State Information Commission and the UP Secretariat, seeking urgent directions to all the Departments of the State for dissemination of information pertaining to life and personal liberty of individuals, within 48 hours. Haider has also urged the Government to amend the RTI Rules of 2015 so as…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Lucknow based Advocate, Syed Mohammad Haider Rizvi, has made a representation before the State Information Commission and the UP Secretariat, seeking urgent directions to all the Departments of the State for dissemination of information pertaining to life and personal liberty of individuals, within 48 hours. Haider has also urged the Government to amend the RTI Rules of 2015 so as to notify a mechanism for expeditiously deciding cases/ appeals where information relating to life and personal liberty is not furnished within 48 hours. It may be noted that Section 7 of the RTI Act prescribes a 30-days window for a Public Information Officer to respond to an RTI application. The provision entails a proviso which is an exception to the general rule, that recognizes the right of a citizen to seek and obtain information concerning any person’s life and liberty within 48 hours. In his letter addressed to the State Information Commission and the UP Secretariat, Haider wrote, “the proviso that was carved out is becoming almost redundant on account of the bellicose attitude of the officers manning the RTI Wing of the State Government departments, dealing with the life and personal liberty of the Individuals, with the Law Enforcement Agencies topping the Chart of violators.” He added, “While the Right to Information Act 2005 has recognized this specific right mandating a timeline of 48 hours in providing information concerning “right to life and personal liberty” of individuals, but it is silent about what must be done when that right is in dispute, or when the information is not provided.” Reliance is placed on Mr. Pooran Chand v. Directorate of Health Services, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, CIC/SG/C/2009/001628, whereby the Central Information Commission made a recommendation to the Principal Secretary, Delhi Health Services that it should devise processes/ mechanisms by which it must provide information within 48 hours when required. Haider insisted that in the absence of statutory timelines for addressing First/ Second Appeals filed on account of the failure of the PIO/FAA in providing the required information, the Rules for the implementation and operation of the RTI Act must be so envisaged so as to take care of this lacuna. He wrote, “The proviso underlying Section 7(1) of the RTI Act, it is evident, recognizes the right of a citizen to seek and obtain information concerning any person’s life and liberty within 48 hours. This is an exception to the general rule of providing information or rejecting a request for information within a period of thirty days. The intention of the Act is that where matters involve an urgency involving the life or liberty of a person, the provision of information should not be delayed. However, there is no procedure either in the RTI Act 2005 or in the Rules of 2015 for FAAs/ SIC about the promptitude/timelines with which such matters must be handled and decided. While the Act has recognized this specific right but is silent about its implementation, it is all the more necessary to decide a process, more particularly by making an amendment in the Rules of 2015 as detailed in the preceding paragraphs, by providing timeline, lets say, of 24/48 hours for the FAAs and the SIC for handling such cases relating to the right to life and personal liberty of individuals where the information is denied/not provided by the PIOs.” Haider has urged the State Information Commission to exercise its power under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act 2005 and issue direction to Govt departments for: Prescribing parameters for seeking information under the proviso to section 7(1) of the RTI Act 2005 (Do’s and Don’t’s) to be widely circulated amongst the concerned State Government departments ensuring that the parameters / instructions which the ground level for a strict implementation. Prescribing for an online submission of First Appeals after due identification and enlistment of FAAs in case the application under proviso to Section 7(1) is not honoured by the Department. Formulating a procedure for accepting the Complaints and Second Appeals for all these matters online. Issuance of advisories and public notices using media / social media as forum informing the public at large about the procedure and methodology for handling such cases by the State Information Commission. Click Here To Download Letter Read LetterNext Storylast_img

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