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21 Aug 2017, 13:54 HRS IST
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  • Over 60 pc of Info Commissions' orders not giving facts: Study

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17:34 HRS IST

New Delhi, Nov 8 (PTI) Over 60 per cent of orders given by Information Commissioners in transparency panels do not record critical facts about the cases heard by them which is in violation of the Supreme Court's orders, a study has found.

Analysis of 2,000 orders of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and State Information Commissions of Bihar, Assam and Rajasthan showed that more than 60 per cent of the orders contained deficiencies in terms of not recording critical facts.

The study was carried out by transparency advocacy groups Research, Assessment and Analysis Group (RaaG) and Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) across three states and the CIC.

"The phenomenon of ICs not passing speaking orders is problematic for several reasons. First, information seekers, the public authorities and people concerned have no way of finding out the rationale for the decisions of ICs.

"Second, orders of ICs are often challenged before the courts. The tests of legality, fairness and reasonableness become exponentially more difficult to pass when orders don't speak for themselves and lack essential information, facts and reasoning," the study said.

The findings came up for discussion at a public meeting organised by the National Campaign for People's Right to Information here today on the occasion of 11 years of RTI.

The study which also looked into pendency found that the Assam State Information Commissioner will take at least 30 years to hear an appeal or complaint filed today. In January, 2014, the waiting period was two years.

"The pendency in the Assam SIC went up by 240 per cent, while in Odisha and Punjab it went up by more than 60 per cent. The pendency in Kerala SIC went up by 49 per cent, while the CIC saw a rise of 43 per cent," it said.

The data collated by the groups shows that a matter filed on January 1, 2016 would come up for hearing in the Assam state commission in the year 2046 while in West Bengal it would come up after 11 years, and in Kerala after seven years.

"In nine of the 16 ICs for which data was available for 2016, the waiting time for a hearing was more than one year," it said.

In 2012, the Supreme Court in the Manohar Anchule vs State of Maharashtra case categorically stated that judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative orders must contain detailed reasoning for their decisions, the study said.

"The Supreme Court, in numerous orders, has cautioned against the tendency of adjudicators to give cryptic, unreasoned orders," the study said. .

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