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Pune, July 9: What happens when the big daddy of all state government departments, the one that keeps a hawk eye on other depa-rtments lest they allow files to get caught in red tape, loses a citizenâ€™s complaint? Well, it graciously accepts its mistake and promises to redress the problem soon. A rare gesture within the government apparatus, but the response isnâ€™t entirely surprising since itâ€™s the State Information Commission (SIC) we are talking about. In January 2006, Sandip Thakur, a resident of Navi Mumbai, filed a complaint with the commission regarding an NGO with considerable government funding, the Mahatma Gandhi Mission, for not appointing a public information officer. But he did not receive a reply for a year. In April 2007, he filed an application under the Right To Information Act (RTI) to ask about the status of his complaint. â€œI was shocked when I realised the public information officer of the SIC wasnâ€™t replying to my application. I then filed my first appeal. The first appellate authority then directed PIO S D Sahasrabuddhe to reply within 15 days,â€ said Thakur. Sahasrabuddhe said the commission had finally traced his complaint. It was first sent to the State Public Health Department. In June 2006, the file was returned to the commission where it was under the charge of then assistant, Gite. After this, the commission lost track of Thakurâ€™s complaint. Now, the commission has requested Thakur for a copy of his original complaint and placed it before the chief information commissioner. â€œThis must be a rare instance where the file may have been misplaced. We are currently taking steps to even reduce this small margin of error,â€ said Chief Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi. As a corrective, the commission is now working on the modalities of providing applicants an acknowledgement with a reference number for them to quote for future correspondence. Currently, only those who submit applications personally get an acknowledgment receipt. Others who send by post do not. â€œWe are chalking out the modalities with National Informatics Centre (NIC) and this new system is expected to be implemented in a monthâ€™s time. Once itâ€™s in place, all applicants â€”irrespective of how they submit their complaintsâ€”will be given a reference number,â€ said Joshi. A lost complaint, but change for the better
The Imphal Free Press imphal, mar 18: In the first instance of its kind in the state, Human Rights Alert has filed a complaint with the Manipur Information Commission against the information officer, department of home, government of Manipur for failing to furnish information sought under the Right to Information, RTI Act. According to a statement issued by the Human Rights Alert, one of its programme executives had on February 9, 2007 filed an application under section 6(1) of the RTI Act with the information officer of the state home department seeking information relating to inquiries instituted by the state government under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952 in the past three decades. It said the officer concerned has been approached repeatedly to obtain the requested information, but the officer neither allowed access to the information, nor gave any official response to the request. The statement said a complaint was accordingly filed before the Manipur Information Commission on March 13, 2007. The state information commissioner, RK Angousana has in this connection registered a complaint case and asked the officer concerned to furnish objection if any on March 26, 2007. The information sought by the HRA included, total number and particulars of inquiries instituted since 1980 by the state government, total number of inquiry reports submitted to the government and action taken thereof, total number of inquiries whose report have been submitted but not considered by the government. The HRA had also sought copies of the inquiry reports concerned by the government of Manipur along with the memorandum of action taken. Rights body files complaint under RTI Act :: KanglaOnline ~ Your Gateway