To reduce workload in Central Information Commission, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh  said “one should file Right to Information (RTI) only if the person has any connection with the issues”.At the CIC’s Annual Convention, the minister of state for Department of Personnel and Training  said, “We should try to respect the spirit with which this law has been brought in instead of making it a nuisance. It should not be that I file an RTI about someone unknown or to prove self as a professional RTI activist.”

File RTI Online History
File RTI Online History

The RTI Act states that information needs to be shared if there is a public interest involved. In Section 8 (2) of the RTI Act empowers the Public Information Officer (PIO) to provide the exempted information if it is in the larger public interest. Means  access to the exempted information can be allowed if public interest is served in providing the information. For the larger public interest, the applicant may not necessarily be directly connected with the issue.

He also stated that due to the encouragement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all the vacancies of Information Commissioners (ICs) have been filled by the Government. With the launch of  portal of The RTI, he said, the number of RTI online requests have increased manifold and credited its success to the prompt response provided by Modi government to the grievances. He further urged that the pendency of the cases has been significantly reduced by the Commission in the recent years.

The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu , urging information commissioners to make a quick disposal of the grievances said, the Central and State Information Commissions are a bridge between public authorities and the citizens.

Earlier, Chief Information Commissioner RK Mathur said that the Central Information Commission CIC had cleared a large part of backlog and by February 2018, the Commission will have to deal only with cases filed from 2017. As on 1 April 2016, the Central Information Commission CIC had a pendency of around 35,000 cases, which came down to 26,000 by 31 March 2017. Commission managed to clear about 6,000 cases pending since past several years, Mr Mathur said, adding, “All the filings have been done on the computer. Hearings can be done on the computer and video conferencing. Registration is done within 48 hours. We have started an e-mail and SMS facility to keep track of appeals and complaints.”