Right to Information Knowledge Meet at Thrissur

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi  in collaboration with National Constitution Club (NCC), Thalassery organised a Right to  Information Knowledge Meet at Thrissur, Kerala on 16th July 2017.  Shri. Amitava Bhattacharya, Central Information Commissioner was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Shri T. Asaf Ali, President, NCC & former Director General-Prosecution, Government of Kerala presided over the event. Other guests and resource persons who spoke on the occasion included, Shri TV Chandramohan, Ex-MLA, Shri P. Sherfudeen, Vice Chairman, NCC, Shri Raveendran Kandoth, Exchequer Secretary, NCC and Adv. S. S. Shyam, Joint Convenor, RTI Knowledge Meet, Thrissur.

More than 200 participants attended the event including RTI activists, advocates, Public Information Officers (PIOs) and students.  Participants shared their experiences of using the RTI law and the challenges and doubts came up against during the interactive sessions. IC Amitava Bhattacharya,  Advocate Asaf Ali and Venkatesh Nayak of CHRI provided clarifications based on the provisions of the Act and the developing case law.

The participants passed the following resolutions unanimously requesting the State Government and the State Information Commission to take steps to implement the law more effectively:

  • Proactive disclosure of all RTI applications and replies on the official websites of public authorities, in accordance with the provisions of RTI Act;
  • Filling up vacancies of Information Commissioners’ posts in the State Information Commission on an urgent basis in order to tackle the problem of pendency of appeals and complaints;
  • Issuance of circulars and guidelines for providing certified copies of official records to requestors in accordance with guidelines instituted by the Central Government and the Kerala High Court; and
  • Strict application of penalty clauses against errant PIOs, including recommendation of disciplinary action in cases of repeated contraventions.

CHRI and NCC will send these resolutions to the State Government and the Information Commission in Kerala for action. Click here for photos and news coverage of the event.

PressMathrubhumi |  Malaya Manorama