Reveal ‘file notings’ under RTI, demand activistsFebruary 2nd, 2009 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) RTI activists have demanded that jottings on official files, or “file notings” as they are called, should be revealed under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.Subhash Chandra Agrawal, an RTI activist, says the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the government’s nodal department dealing with issues relating to the RTI Act, has said that “file notings” are not information under the act although the Central Information Commission (CIC) maintains otherwise.
“The CIC has cleared that ‘file notings’ come under the definition of information under the RTI Act. In the last two years, the CIC has repeatedly given verdicts clearing this controversy,” Agrawal told IANS.
“The first such verdict came two years back in January 2007.”
“I had filed an appeal with the CIC regarding the matter. In November 2008, while hearing my appeal, the CIC directed DoPT to correct it on their website,” Agrawal added.
“The CIC had given Jan 27, 2009, as the last day for the DoPT to make the correction but they have not done so. Instead, they have sent a letter to the CIC sticking to their earlier stand,” Agrawal said.
“The CIC can go to the high court in the matter. But I think the CIC should be given little more powers to enforce the act in the country,” senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said.
RTI activist-turned-Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said: “DoPT actions are illegal and they are setting a bad example.”
“The CIC should use its powers under the RTI Act and impose penalty on these erring officials. If the CIC doesn’t do that, it (RTI Act) will be nothing but a paper tiger,” Magsaysay award winner and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal said.
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