As reported by Neha Shukla of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 3 August 2008:
SIC to introduce new regulations-Lucknow-Cities-The Times of India
SIC to introduce new regulations
LUCKNOW: The provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act have to be more strictly followed in issuing summons and slapping penalties on the erring Public Information Officers (PIOs).
This was among the many suggestions made by RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal towards strengthening the Right to Information (RTI) Act in the state.
Kejriwal met UP's Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Gyanendra Sharma on Friday. State Information Commission (SIC) has evolved a set of regulations with a purpose to expedite the functioning of the commission and dispose cases as soon as possible. "We discussed the regulations and he made some suggestions," said Sharma.
The new regulations specify that applicants will have to be more restrained in voicing their complaints as the SIC will only consider appeals written in dignified language. Besides, the complaints/appeals will have to complete in all respects.
The name and address of the complainant/applicant, name and address of the Public Information Officer (PIO) and the first appellate authority against whom appeal has been filed will have to be mentioned therein along with the reason behind the complaint/appeal.
The new set of regulations have been posted on the official website of the UPSIC and recommendations have started pouring in. The regulations have been devised by the commission as deciding the functioning of the body is entirely its internal matter. "These regulations are defined in the Act but we wish to regularise these provisions", added the CIC.
The commission will start following these new regulations shortly. Once these regulations come into force, even the old cases marked for further hearings will be dealt with in accordance with the new guidelines.
The regulations have taken into consideration the common complaint that lot of applicants could not make to the hearing as they are not informed on time by the commission. With new regulations being implemented, applicants will have to be informed seven days in advance of the date of hearing. However, applicants wishing not to appear for the hearing will have to mention it clearly in their appeals/complaints. This will not defer the hearing and case will be disposed off on time.
To give the commission a proper view into the matter, the applicant/complainant will have to attach self-attested copies of the applications submitted to the PIO along with the receipt of the fee deposited and of the order, if any, passed by the PIO on that application.
A similar set of documents (concerning the first appellate authority) will have to be submitted if the appeal is against this official. Besides, all the complaints/appeals will have to contain a proper indexing of all the documents submitted to the commission. It is this regulation which is seeing maximum opposition and even Kejriwal did not favour it arguing that indexing will make the job difficult for the common man.
The complainant/applicant will have to make it clear if he/she has not filed any prior appeal or complaint on the matter taken up by him/her in the commission along with documents which form the basis of his/her appeal or complaint.
It will also be required of the applicant/complaint to submit the copy of appeal/complaint to the PIO against whom it is addressed and even this regulation has not won points with the people. However, the SIC will implement the new regulations only after people have a chance to study them and provide feedback.