An annual report by the Central Information Commission (CIC) has stated that 64,334 Right to Information (RTI) applications have been rejected during 2018-19. This accounts for 4.7% of the total 13.7 lakh application receiving during the period.
According to the report tabled in the Parliament this week, the RTI applications received by the central government increased by 1.36 lakh, about 11% higher than 2017-18. The 4.7% rejections this year is a decline from 5.13% last year, it added.
The ministries of Tribal Affairs and Home Affairs rejected the most numbers of RTI applications, the report said.
“Highest percentage of RTI applications rejected was reported by Ministry of Tribal Affairs (26.54%) and Ministry of Home Affairs (16.41%),” a statement from personnel ministry quoting the report said on Friday (November 22).
The first appeals before seniors against the decisions of RTI processing officers called Central Public Information Officers marginally declined from 9.72% last year to 9.29% in 2018-19.
The CIC disposed of 17,188 second appeals and complaints cases in 2018-19. A total of 22,736 cases were registered during the same period. At the end of the year, the Commission had 29,655 cases pending before it, it said. The figures are based on annual returns submitted by all 2,145 registered public authorities with the Commission.
In July, the Parliament had passed the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019, thus replacing earlier provisions with regard to tenure and salary of Information Commissioners at the central and the state level.
While the earlier act set the salaries of chief information commissioner and information commissioners on par with that of the chief election commissioner and election commissioners, the new law sought to give the government powers to fix salaries, tenures and other terms and conditions of employment of information commissioners.
(With inputs from agencies)