Lawstreet Journal

Madras High Court tells information commission to consider taking up RTI cases on COVID-19 issues for at least 3-4 hours every day [READ ORDER]

Lawstreet Journal 3 May 2021 7:59pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Madras High Court tells information commission to consider taking up RTI cases on COVID-19 issues for at least 3-4 hours every day [READ ORDER]

The Madras High Court on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 asked the Central and State Information Commissions to consider a representation made by journalist Saurav Das in the case of Saurav Das v. Union of India & Ors. for expeditious disposal of RTI cases pertaining to Covid-related issues.

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed,

"It may do well for the State and the Centre to consider whether, particularly during the present Covid crisis, benches of the State Information Commission and the Chief Information Commission can take up matters on the virtual mode upon indicating an e-filing system to deal with Covid-related matters at least for three or four hours a day."

Additionally, the Bench cautioned citizens to be careful in not diverting the attention of an employee from his main duties to attend to RTI queries only. Das had moved the PIL seeking constitution of additional benches at the State level and the Central level Information Commissions to respond to Covid-related issues.

He pointed out that since the average waiting time for a case to be heard by the CIC and TNSIC is almost 2 years, several important pandemic related RTI appeals are not being heard on priority by these Commissions and they may turn infructuous if the normal waiting time is followed.

"Time is of the essence under the RTI Act and even more so during the current COVID-19 pandemic, as any delay in the information sought for, could have a detrimental impact on public health and the lives of people", it was argued.

"Since… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Madras High Court  
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