As High Court sought a response from the Government over the implementation of section 4 and section 23 of J&K RTI Act 2009, the Deputy Commissioners of J&K have failed to submit the details of implementation of these sections to the Government through General Administration Department (GAD).
GAD in response to High Court direction issued two notices to all the Deputy Commissioners asking them to submit details of awareness programmes/workshops conducted on J&K RTI Act 2009, but none of the DCs has responded to these notice until the PIL was listed for hearing on May 15th.
“Government is under a legal obligation under section 23 of J&K RT Act 2009 to create awareness not only for its officials but for people at large especially those hailing from disadvantaged communities. But such programmes are hardly undertaken in the state. In addition to it under section 4 of state RTI law, Govt has to make the voluntary disclosure of information and this provision of RTI Act is also violated in Jammu & Kashmir. This prompted Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before Hon’ble High Court of J&K “ said Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat who has filed the PIL on behalf of RTI Movement.
Pertinent to mention that vide official communication No: GAD (L) F-144 /2018 Dated 17.04.2018 GAD address a letter to all the DCs asking them to submit the details as the case is listed before High Court on May 15th. The letter reads as “ I am directed to invite your attention to the captioned subject (PIL No 04 0f 2018 titled J&K RTI Movement through Raja Muzaffar Bhat V/S State ) and to request you to kindly provide the details of seminars , conferences and training programmes organized regarding awareness of RTI Act among PIOs , FAAs and specially for general public from date of its inception in J&K. The matter may be treated as most urgent as the matter is scheduled for hearing in the Hon’ble High Court of J&K Srinagar on May 15th, 2018 “
After getting no response from the DCs the GAD shot another communication on April 25th vide letter No: GAD (Legal) F-144 /2018 /727, but not even a single DC responded to GAD’s notice. Except for Institute of Management & Public Administration and Rural Development (IMPARD) no Govt department responded to GADs notice. As reported by Greater Kashmir IMPARD in its official communication made an admission that it has conducted mere 5 workshops/training programmes on RTI Act during last 3 years for First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) & Assistant PIOs (APIOs). On contrary to this same organization (IMPARD) conducted more than 75 such workshops from the year 2011 to 2014.