CCIC and RTI Act

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It refers to media-reports about Central Chief Information Commission (CCIC) in a media-interview indicating that Central Information Commission is deliberating on a mechanism for pro-active disclosures by private entities involved in public-work. Statement comes after the CCIC in a verdict noted that even though four million candidates appear every year for examinations conducted by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), it is not a public-authority under RTI Act. There are many other bodies under private-public-partnership (PPP), cooperative-sector, sports-bodies and others which even though declared public-authorities by Central Information Commission, are evading the provision by getting stay-orders on CIC-verdicts from courts. Several division-benches of Supreme Court have repeatedly endorsed the bitter fact of ex-party stay-orders followed by regular adjournments to be a lacuna of our justice-delivery-system. Many aspects of day-to-day life like banking and telecommunications are presently dominated by private sector with lot of malpractices to mint money.

Prime Minister may inaugurate new CIC-building on November 21, 2017 at New Delhi. It will be the most appropriate occasion that Prime Minister may announce all PPPs, sports-bodies, cooperative-societies and other such bodies affecting lives of millions like IBPS to be directly under RTI Act to avoid chances of stay-orders on CIC-verdicts obtained after much effort. RTI Act can also be considered to be applied on private companies having turn-overs over some stipulated amount especially for those related to consumer products or services. For rest others provision of pro-active disclosures of certain basic information may be made compulsory on websites.

Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)