Right To Information:
According to a report, the backlog of appeals or complaints under the Right to Information (RTI) Act is steadily increasing in Information Commissions every year.
Findings of the Report:
- At present, nearly 3.15 lakh complaints or appeals pending with 26 information commissions across India.
- The number of appeals and complaints pending in 2019 was 2,18,347 which increased to 3,14,323 in 2022.
- The highest number of pending cases were in Maharashtra followed by Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, etc.
- Two out of 29 information commissions across the country are completely defunct, four of them headless at the moment, and only 5% of the positions are occupied by women.
- Jharkhand and Tripura have been completely defuncted for 29 months and 15 months respectively. Manipur, Telangana, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are without chiefs.
- The commissions did not impose penalties in 95% of the cases where penalties were potentially imposable.
- The report also flags concerns regarding tardy disposal rates in several commissions and the lack of transparency in their functioning.
- Only 11 information commissions out of 29 provide e-filing facility for RTI applications or appeals, but only five are functional.