Implementation of Section 4 . J&K RTI Movement welcomes govt decision

Srinagar: J&K RTI Movement has welcomed the latest orders from the Government asking all the administrative secretaries to ensure that the provisions of Section 4 (Pro-Active disclosure) which “we consider as soul and life blood of the J&K RTI Act (2009), are implemented in letter and spirit so that the relevant information was available on the official website of the departments.”

In a statement Farooq Kuthoo Chief Spokesperson of the Movement said, “The previous Govt had miserably failed to put into practice this important provision of RTI Act (section 4 (1) (b). Directing the other measures for introducing transparency like electronic mode of payments is also an encouraging step on part of the present government and requires to be promoted further. If the public authorities would have complied with the Section 4 of the Act, the information seeker wouldn't be asked to file application for seeking information and waiting until 30 days. Due to non-voluntary disclosure of information, a commoner was being tossed from pillar to post.”

“In spite of several reminders from the J & K RTI Movement ,above all  the SIC, on the need for full implementation of Section 4 the voice has so far fallen into deaf ears. It is pertinent to mention here that the RTI activists have given immense sacrifices and played a critical role in not only advocating for strong RTI act in J & K but have also played a vital part in creating awareness among masses especially people living in rural areas,” he said.

“We have always been of the opinion that the Governor will extend his support in making RTI an effective tool. We demand that the rules 2012 of J & K RTI Act should be revoked and rules 2010 should be again made a reality. In order to create awareness among masses especially in rural areas,Governor NN Vohra should also use his good offices for the proper implementation of section 23 (1) of J & K RTI Act which also states that government will develop and organize educational programs to advance the understanding of public, in particular of disadvantaged communities as to how to exercise the rights contemplated in the act,” Kuthoo added.

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