ANDHRA PRADESH has failed to appoint State Information Commission Failure to appoint a full-fledged State Information Commission (SIC) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has put Andhra Pradesh at the bottom of the performance list at the national-level.

The term of the last SIC in the composite State was over on May 17 last year and there has been a gap of 18 months for the constitution of a Commission for AP.

A report card, released jointly by the Delhi-based Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) and the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) in March 2018, shows non-adherence of the clauses of the Act mainly due to the State government’s failure to put in place a full-fledged Commission.

The SIC office set up at Mangalagiri in August last has been dysfunctional. Following several pleas by RTI activists and members of the civil society and a directive by the High Court, the government appointed former IFS officer M. Ravi Kumar, former IPS officer B. V. Ramana Kumar and advocate Katta Janardhana Rao as SICs but there was no mention of a State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC).

A total of 42,782 second appeals — those filed by applicants who are unhappy with the decision of the appellate authority — were are received by the state information commission between 2005- 2016. On average, it takes 18 months for the second appeal to be heard. In Andhra Pradesh, which has one of the highest number of pending appeals at 12,456, every month about 681 second appeals are disposed.