Friday, April 12, 2024

State CIC advocates correct use of RTI Act


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, March 1: State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), H Nongpluh, on Friday advocate the correct way of putting to use the RTI Act.
Speaking at a workshop on ‘Right to Information Act’ organised by the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), an apex body of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), here on Friday, the CIC said that all at the conference of CICs had maintained that the they should not allow the RTI Act to be misused.
Based on his experience, Nongpluh said that RTI is a small Act but there needs to be awareness about the legislation through programmes every now and then.
“The reason behind this is that there are two conflicting interests. One is the interest of the common man, that people want information. Another one is the interest of the department, interest of the Public Information Officers (PIOs) to not give information,” Nongpluh said while interacting with the participants.
Urging the PIOs to change their mindset, Nongpluh said that the officers can lessen this conflicting interest between the information seeker and the information giver.
According to Nongpluh, he has observed that as soon as the PIO, from whatever cases that come to them, reads the RTI application, their idea is to find where the exemption is so that they will not provide the information sought.
“I would always tell them that mindset should be first. He said it should be ‘What can I give’ and not ‘What I cannot give’. So when you approach in that direction, then everything will get settled,” he said.
The officer also suggested that the First Appellate Authority can give advice, but should not get too involved as they are the next level of appeal.
The workshop/National Meet on RTI Act is a two-day event which will conclude on Saturday. It is being attended by 80 participants from different places.
During the first day, prominent personalities like the former Information Commissioner, CIC, Prof MM Ansari and other officials were also present on the occasion.


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