GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has urged the Chief Information Commissioner of Assam to consider disposal of cases in virtual mode, keeping in view the changing times. This will minimize the harassment faced by applicants under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, Sarma said while inaugurating the new office building of the Assam Information Commission (AIC) at Panjabari here on Thursday.
The Chief Minister said that citizens should make proper use of the RTI Act in matters of public interest, but it should not be misused to pursue personal enmity. The RTI Act was framed with the twin goals of curbing corruption and ensuring transparency in government work, he said, and added that RTI queries are mostly made when officers do not provide or delay providing data sought by citizens.
The Chief Minister said that the quantum of RTI queries has decreased in Assam over the past two-three years because the state government has made the data pertaining to most public services available on online portals. "I want that no one has to file RTI-related complaints at all to the AIC, and that will become possible only when government functionaries will work in a transparent manner", Sarma said.
Sarma further said that the AIC has a good record when it comes to disposal of RTI-related cases. He mentioned that during 2020-21 the AIC disposed of 1,322 cases, while it disposed of 975 cases in 2021-22. He added that barring a few cases with technical hitches, virtually no normal cases are pending with the AIC at present.
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