Chief Minister’s Office has snubbed Chief Information Commissioner GR Sufi by not responding to his DO letter for over more than four months GR Sufi, the Chief Information Commissioner on December 26, 2013 has written a DO Letter ( Demi official ) to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and surprisingly the Chief Minister’s office had not only given no response to the letter but even did not bother to send any acknowledgement note which is normally issued whenever they receive any communication from a political dignitary or persons occupying important position like a commissioner of a statuary body or chairman of a Board.
Though the Commission itself refused to share the full contents of the letter written by Jammu and Kashmir State Chief Information Commissioner GR Sufi to RTI applicant stating it as ‘personal information’ and only a portion of it was released by the Public Information Officer of the Commission in response to an RTI application of the RTI activist Raman Sharma and rest of the information was denied citing it as personal information having no relationship to any public activity quoting section 8(i) of the JK RTI Act 2009.
In the RTI reply commission has informed the applicant that the letter was sent through courier but no response or acknowledgement has been received by it from the CMO, JKRTI in a statement issued to GNS said.
However , in his letter dated 26/Dec/2013, Chief Information Commissioner GR Sufi has requested the Chief Minister to direct the Secretary, General Administration department to have an interaction with the State information Commission to initiate the process of reviving Right to Information Rules (2010) which were amended and replaced in the year 2012 by issuing an SRO no 279.
Through letter Sufi had expressed his displeasure over the amendments in the RTI Rules and has submitted “Unfortunately these rules were abruptly repealed on the main plank of brining the rules at par with central rules”.
“This reasoning was quite flawed as the present legislature has been vigorously ensuring that it exercised all powers which are vested in it under constitution of the state read with Union Constitution, if the legislature enacts its own substantive law (JK RTI 2009) it is logical that rules also to be that of creation of state executive keeping in view of the exigencies and special conditions of our state” Sufi’s letter reveals.
While sharing the letter of GR Sufi with media, RTI applicant Raman Sharma also expressed his resentment over the attitude of the Chief Minister’s office and commented that it should have responded to the letter of the a statuary and quasi-judicial authority like Chief Information Commissioner who as per section 13 of Jammu and Kashmir RTI Act 2009 have the status and rank equivalent to that of an election commissioner.