Information Commissioner flayed

Human rights activists assembled in front of the office of People’s Watch here and condemned the functioning of State Information Commissioner, for allegedly foisting a case against an RTI activist Siva Ilango.

Two days ago, when Mr. Ilango, State president of Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, engaged in using the Right To Information Act against issues of corruption and the rights of people, visited the office of State Information Commission in Chennai, he was not only “ill-treated by the officers” but also put behind bars through “a false case.”

All that he wanted was information under the RTI Act with regard to total media advertising expenditure from 1991 to 2014. Since the required information had not been provided by the authorities, he had appealed to the Commissioner, who had posted it to January 7.

Even as he was waiting for the case to be taken up, Commissioner Sripathi insisted on Mr. Ilango standing during the hearing as he was seated in the hall.

After a wordy altercation, the Bench dismissed the plea since the Information Officer maintained that the information was provided to the applicant.

The appellant’s request for a hearing was turned down, following which he staged a sit-in protest.

When he continued with his protest, Teynampet police arrested the RTI activist and remanded him in judicial custody after registering cases under IPC Sections 294, 353 and 506 (1).

The activists condemned the handling of the RTI activist by the SIC.. Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, People’s Watch, said the Tamil Nadu SIC had very little information on its website, when compared to that of the neighbouring States.

“Not only its functioning is not transparent, but the action too is condemnable,” he said.

The government should immediately order a thorough investigation into the event which led to the arrest of Mr Ilango, they appealed.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 1:06:11 AM |

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