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15 Jul 2020, 07:01 HRS IST
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  • PTI
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  • MP starts virtual hearings in RTI appeals to reduce pendency

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11:11 HRS IST

Bhopal, Jun 2 (PTI) With the coronavirus-induced

lockdown resulting in pendency of over 7,000 Right to Information (RTI) appeals in Madhya Pradesh, state information commissioner Vijay Manohar Tiwari has started conducting virtual hearings in the cases through mobile video calls.

A copy of the commission's decision is then sent to the applicant and officials concerned through WhatsApp, Tiwari told PTI.

"Due to the lockdown, more than 7,000 RTI appeals were pending in the state. Therefore, I decided to dispose of cases by using the mobile video-call technology for conducting hearings, and providing a copy of the decision through WhatsApp, he said.

The officials concerned have been asked to attend hearings through the technology tool or face action, and the applicants have also been informed to appear before the commission through this mode, he said.

The virtual hearings were conducted on Monday in some RTI appeals, he said.

"Almost everyone has smart phones with them and they are also on social media. WhatsApp is an easy option during emergency situations. The results of video calls are on the expected lines. Officials also took part in it with full preparedness," Tiwari said.

In the hearing of an application seeking information on vacant posts of teachers in Umaria district, when the public information officer failed to give satisfactory replies, the commission ordered him to provide the required information soon and also posted the order on his WhatsApp number, the official said.

In another application from Shahdol district seeking information about recognition of private schools and qualification of teachers working there, the applicant was provided information immediately on two points listed by him.

But, as the applicant insisted on being provided the entire information in one go, the commission ordered the official concerned to provide the same within a month.

A copy of the order was then sent to the official concerned through WhatsApp, Tiwari said.

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