RTI activists protest against Haryana order on identity proof

Government not sincere in implementing provisions of the Act, they say

A group of Right to Information activists and workers on Tuesday staged a protest against the Haryana Government here, accusing it of not being sincere in implementing the provisions of the Act.

After the protest outside the office of the State Information Commission, the activists submitted a demand letter to the Chief Information Commissioner, addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind.

Also read | Privacy concerns over Haryana’s ID scheme

P.P. Kapoor, president of Jan Abhiyan Manch and noted RTI activist, alleged that the State Government was following an anti-RTI agenda, and hence had made identity proof of applicants mandatory a few months ago by changing the format of the application.

“The decision was taken in April and even as the Haryana Information Commission has held that no authority can force an applicant to submit their identity card while filing an application, the Commission’s directions are being flouted,” he alleged, adding that the Government must issue clear orders that ID proof is not required with an RTI application to remove the ambiguity across the State.

Mr. Kapoor also alleged that there are several Departments that have not uploaded information required under Section-4 of the Act. “Many posts of Information Commissioners are lying vacant in the State Information Commission, which is hampering its smooth functioning and creating problems in achieving the objective of the Act,” he said.

“We want the Government to remove the ambiguity on ID proof. Arrangements should be made to apply RTI applications online and hear appeal cases through audio-video conference online. The Government should fill the posts immediately. It should also direct all its Departments that have not uploaded information under Section-4 of the Act to do so immediately,” he said.

Key RTI activists who participated in the demonstration included Rajesh Sharma, Sunil Girdhar, Mukesh Luthra, Sita Ram Barwaria, Satish Bathla and Suresh Kumar.

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