Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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BJP alleges RTI Act violations by depts, threatens to move court

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 14: The state BJP on Friday accused multiple government departments of violating the Right to Information (RTI) Act by failing to provide requested details and warned of legal action if responses are not given within ten days.
BJP vice president and Tura MDC, Bernard N. Marak, stated that several departments had ignored RTI requests filed in February, which, he said, is a gross violation of the RTI Act.
Marak highlighted that some Community and Rural Development (C&RD) blocks and government projects under various flagship programmes, such as the Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP), have not provided the requested information.
He noted that IBDLP refused for the second time to disclose details under the RTI Act about the beneficiaries of the FOCUS scheme, released just before the 2023 assembly election.
He suggested that bureaucrats managing these programmes had directed the district officials to withhold information, indicating potential major scams within these projects.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the RTI responses, noting that many departments refused to share beneficiaries’ details and contact information.
“If that is the attitude of the bureaucrats, then there is terribly big scam involved in these projects. Apart from that, some of the departments gave vague reply while others gave unclear copies of their replies in spite of asking the information, especially in an electronic format,” he said.
“If the officers do not furnish the RTIs in next ten days, we will be forced to take legal steps and we will take it up to the court if necessary,” he added.
Marak also emphasised the responsibility of the deputy commissioners.
“Deputy commissioners should also be held responsible because the RTIs were filed through them because the departments so often don’t take RTIs seriously. There is lack of transparency in many departments and their refusal to furnish detailed information is evident enough that they do not want to divulge the facts sought through RTI,” Marak said.

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