Seeking information from PMO gets easier

March 19th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Seeking information from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has now become easier, thanks to a recommendation of the Chief Information Commission (CIC).
Hearing two RTI cases related to the PMO, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah recommended that people no longer be made to shuttle between the PMO at South Block and the Rail Bhawan to submit their RTI applications.

Habibullah said that Assistant Public Information Officer (PMO) M.S.S. Nair, who is stationed at the Rail Bhawan, be authorised to receive RTI applications together with the fee for any of the forms prescribed under rules.

Earlier, appellants had to deposit the fee at the PMO in South Block and were asked to visit the Rail Bhawan for inspection of documents.

“It is a very important decision as now all PMO-related information under RTI will be available at one place and you don’t have to shuttle between PMO and Rail Bhawan for getting information. I included this point in my RTI appeal to the CIC in connection with my RTI about the Nithari case,” Commodore (Retd) Lokesh. K. Batra, who filed the RTI appeal, told IANS.

The order issued March 12 also asked the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) at the PMO to install video-conference facilities in his office at South Block so that applicants can have easier access to him.

“The CPIO sits at PMO and is not accessible to the appellant for interaction may be due to security reasons, but it is against the spirit of the RTI act,” Batra added.

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