Jammu Tawi, November 22
Activists of Sangarsh RTI Movement lambasted the State Government for willfully making the State Information Commission defunct.
Addressing the media persons, Balvinder Singh Convener Sangarsh RTI Movement said that because of the callous approach of the Government towards transparency and accountability, the State Information Commission in the State has become a defunct body after the retirement of lone Information Commissioner, Nazir Ahmed in November this year. He added that the Government has not shown any seriousness to appoint any Information Commissioner and Chief Information Commissioner even after a year of their retirement. He said that though the strengthening and implementation of RTI and providing a transparent and accountable Government was one of the main agenda in the election manifesto of both the coalition partners but it is saddened that after coming into power the same parties are leaving no stone unturned to stonewall the accountability and transparency in the Government functioning and thereby denying the common people from exercising their fundamental right to Know and make the Government accountable.
Another RTI activist and member Sangarsh RTI Movement, Deepak Sharma said that it is surprising that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was the only political party in the State who had earlier given information under J&K RTI Act, when an RTI was filed by him and Balvinder Singh in 2013, to all the political parties of the State, both regional and National, after the full bench decision of the Central Information Commission declaring all political parties as Public Authorities under RTI Act. But after coming into power the same party has completely taken a u turn and instead of strengthening the transparency regime in the State, it has totally paralysed the Transparency Commission, despite numerous representations given by the past Chief Information Commissioner G R Sofi, during his tenure, to the government for the appointment of Information Commissioners and his successor well within time.