Chief Justice of India office comes under RTI: Habibullah

November 26th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) The office of the Chief Justice of India comes under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Central Information Commission (CIC) chief Wajahat Habibullah said here Wednesday.”The CIC would soon hear some petitions pending on the issue,” said Habibullah while delivering a talk on “Working of RTI Act issues and challenges” at Observer Research Foundation here.

He said he had discussions with the Lok Sabha speaker and officials of the Rajya Sabha secretariat to improve flow of information regarding the functioning of members of parliament.

“The purview of the RTI has gone beyond central and state governments, encompassing any body which has received government funding. This includes institutions like distribution companies, stock exchanges and aided schools,” he added.

Habibullah described the Official Secrets Act of 1923 as “complete anachronism” and said that commission has suggested to the government to repeal it but no progress has been made on the issue.

He said the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has also been brought under the RTI Act, which rural people are using.

He stressed the urgent need to bring in uniformity of the fees under the RTI Act to make it affordable to all citizens.

He said that the commission should be empowered to take contempt action in case of poor compliance.

The CIC also admitted that the victimisation fear among some applicants is also a real problem and needs to be addressed.

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