Governor urged to intervene and set things right

Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan (OSAA), a State-level forum of Right To Information Act activists, has urged newly appointed Governor S.C. Jamir to look into the functioning of the State Information Commission (SIC).

A delegation of OSSA recently met Mr. Jamir and drew his attention the alleged inconsistency of SIC and demanded removal of information commissioners.

“The functioning of the commission appears to be authoritarian and colonial. We draw attention of the Governor on issues like less two hour of hearing of cases in a day, hearing of limited number of cases (8 to 10) per day, taking suo moto summer vacation and puja vacation leave, drafting the decisions and making letter correspondence with illiterate people in English even though Odia is the State language, misbehaving with RTI complainants during hearing and threatening them to arrest, filing defamation cases against the citizens in lower court,” said Pradip Pradhan, OSAA member. Mr. Pradhan alleged that many of the commissioners were ignorant of the provisions of RTI Act. The delegates demanded immediate enquiry into all complaint cases filed in the office of the Governor under Section 17 of the RTI Act since 2006 and review of the questionable decisions of SIC.

The forum appealed to the Governor to direct the commission not to take summer vacation and puja vacation leave. Their other demands include drafting of all decisions in Odia language, no vindictive litigation against RTI activists and resuming the hearing of about 7000 cases, which were reportedly closed by the commission without any hearing.