The state council, an important body mandated under the Delhi Right to Information (DRTI) Act, has not been reconstituted after the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in 2015, an RTI reply states.
The RTI reply from the Administrative Reform (AR) department on March 19, states that “no proposal was moved by the AR department for constituting the state council when the present government was formed in year 2015”.
The state council comprises the Delhi Chief Minister as the chairman, three MLAs, chief secretary, officials from different departments, NGO members, print/ electronic media members, RWA members, traders and others.
The role of the state council is to promote the use of RTI in Delhi, review the operation of the Act, review the administrative arrangements, and advise government on matters related to RTI, including development, orientation and training of employees to bring in a culture of openness and transparency. The chairperson is required to place an annual report of the council in the Assembly.
DRTI Act came into effect in 2001, with Delhi being one of the nine states in the country which enacted the RTI laws, even before the central Act came into being. The RTI was filed by Yogesh Kumar from the Association for Development (AFD). “We witnessed gaps while filing RTIs in different departments, as they would not treat it right. Only after we went to the CIC, we could get our reply. There were also pendency of cases, so we thought it was important to find out what this body was doing. But now, we came to know that this body does not exist in the first place,” said Kumar.
Administrative Reforms, Secretary, Rakesh Bali said that since the central RTI came into being, nothing has happened at their end. “The Delhi RTI Act 2001 was to be repealed, but during the last Assembly session it could not be introduced. There are certain rules and procedures being followed,” said Bali.
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