The Lokayukta's final report on illegal mining may not be out by this month-end. Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde said that the delay in submitting the final report was because many agencies were working on it and that the information given by the Central Vigilance Commission, the CBI and the Income Tax Department had to be collated.

The Lokayukta, while speaking after inaugurating the Karnataka Right to Information Federation here on Monday, said that the delay was also because the Central Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court was conducting survey of mines. The report on illegal mining was supposed to be out on March 31, but had been postponed to May-end.

RTI Act

Participating in the seminar on the “Role of citizens in implementation of the RTI (Right to Information) Act, 2005 and challenges ahead”, Mr. Hegde stressed the need for a law to protect whistleblowers, considering that there have been a number of attacks on them across the country. He also said that some changes were needed in the RTI Act but people should not misuse it either.

Citing the example of illiterate people who are unable to use the Act up to its potential, M.P. Nadagoud, president of Janata Dal (U), emphasised the need for making the process of obtaining information user-friendly.

Meanwhile, reacting to the demand for penalisation in case of delay in providing the information sought for, Karnataka Information Commissioner H.N. Krishna said penalty was not the solution. He also lauded the Act for being the only such law that had received the least negative publicity from the news media. He added that the delay in disposing of files was only because the number of appeals had gone up.

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