Four years since the Right to Information Act has come into force, the official machinery is yet to implement it in the right sense. There are many departments in Karnataka which still have not disclosed information voluntarily as required under Section 4 of the Act. The State Government has not been facilitating the work of voluntary disclosure, said State Information Commissioner J.S. Virupakshaiah on Friday.
This was Mr. Virupakshaiahs defence of the Information Commission not imposing penalty against officials for delay in furnishing information.
There are many departments which have still not provided information voluntarily. The State Government has to facilitate this work. We cannot blame the officials and impose penalty. The official machinery is not fully geared up to implement the Act, he said.
Mr. Virupakshaiah was participating in a panel discussion on the State of RTI, organised by the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media. The other panellists were Shekar Singh, co-founder of National Coalition for Peoples Right To Information (NCPRI); Y.G. Muralidharan, Director of Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust; Parvathi Menon, Chief of Bureau of The Hindu, Bangalore; Jayashree J.N., founder of Fight Corruption Now; and Theodore Bhaskaran, historian and film critic.