CIC writes LG, underlines non-implementation of RTI Act by Delhi Govt

Central Information Commission (CIC) has pointed to the failure of the Government of Delhi in implementing the RTI Act, 2005, demonstrating a lack of transparency and accountability in matters of nuclear governance involving genuine public interest.

Uday Mahurkar, Information Commissioner, CIC has written to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena regarding the failure of the Government of Delhi to implement the Right to Information Act, 2005, noting, among other things, that departments such as the Tax Administration, which dealing with land affairs, PWD, Cooperative, Health and Power in addition to agencies such as the DSSSB and the DSIIDC etc. that deal directly with the common people either withhold real information for ulterior motives, refuse to share legitimate information with the applicants that information seek or provide them with misinformation for the purpose of misleading.

“In many cases, the RTI applicants seeking information in these departments are entities in a sorry state because their legitimate applications containing information that affects their lives are blocked. In other cases, real information about corruption and irregularities in functioning is from the government kept back with alleged ulterior motives,” said Information Commissioner (IC) Uday Mahurkar.

“It is concerning that in more than 60 percent of the cases involving the tax authorities, the CPIOS do not remain present by virtue of official duty and delegate their clerks and subordinate staff to attend the hearing. In many cases there is a clear intent on their part to withhold the information because of their questionable connection,” he said in the letter.

This is more than evident in cases where huge property, including ancestral land, is involved and clearly points to high-level corruption. In some cases that came before the Commission, applicants fighting for their rights to their ancestral lands were found desperate by the Commission because a corrupt and lethargic bureaucracy was simply unwilling to part with legitimate information they had sought. . claimed in the letter.

Uday Mahurkar has also pointed to glaring concerns with the health department about how free treatment is not being given by private hospitals that have been given land at favorable rates, to patients of the EWS category. The total amount due in the form of not providing free treatment is Rs 1500 crore. He has also pointed to issues related to the tender process, discoms etc.

Given the seriousness of the issues raised by the Central Information Commissioner, the Secretariat of the Lt. The Governor instructed the Chief Secretary to take the necessary corrective action according to the applicable rules to deal with the matter as quickly as possible.

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