The CM said that the government would look at the possibilities to deal with people who are misusing the RTI Act.
Nagpur: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis assured the Maharashtra Council that the state government would increase the number of Right To Information (RTI) commissions in the state. “These are a quasi-judicial authority. So increasing the numbers will be decided only after a discussion with the state RTI commissioner, if needed. We will not restrict information,” said Mr Fadnavis. He also said that the state government would look at possible solutions to deal with people who are misusing the RTI Act.
“Without diluting the RTI Act, we will see if anything can be done to prevent its misuse,” said Mr Fadnavis. There will be a new government resolution (GR) for members of the legislature, he added.
Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt had raised the issue of pendency of cases under RTI commissions at different locations in Maharashtra. “Due to vacancy in almost every commission office, there is large pendency of work. Nashik division has 10,600 speaks in pending, Pune division 8,246, Aurangabad 7,000 and Konkan 4,000,” said Mr Dutt. He also said that vacant post of the state’s chief RTI commissioner is also a matter of
In his reply, Mr Fadnavis said that the file for appointment of the state’s chief RTI commissioner is being sent to the governor for approval. About the pendency of the work, Mr Fadnavis said, “We are completely positive about the effective implementation of the Act. So, we will provide all the needed infrastructure to the commission.”
Many members raised the issue of a new GR about information to be given to MLAs and MLCs. “This GR is trying to define ‘information’. But this has already been done in the Central Act itself. So, there is confusion on the restriction of information that is to be given to legislative members,” said Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde.
Mr Fadnavis has denied this by saying that there won’t be any restriction from the government’s side. “There was confusion about the information that needed to be given to the people’s representatives. So this GR is a guide for all departments.” Senior member Jayant Patil raised the issue of an RTI activist who blackmailed people. “There are many such fake RTI activists. We need to act on this,” said Mr Patil. The CM also accepted that there are some people who are misusing the Act. “We will look into the situation. Without diluting provisions in the Act, if there is a possibility of something being done, the government will look into it,” said Mr Fadnavis.