CIC returns over 8,500 pleas in eight months

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has returned 8,534 cases to applicants in eight months on technical grounds.

The term of Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma ends in December.
Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma

An analysis of CIC data conducted by Commonwealth Human Rights of India (CHRI) found that of the 71,166 appeals filed between January-October 2015, 8534 were returned. In July, 1800 of the 8302 appeals received were returned. In comparison, 759 of the 7194 applications received in January were returned. The rate of return spiked in August, when one out of every five requests was returned.

Activists have pointed out that the number of cases being returned has coincided with new chief information commissioner Vijai Sharma assuming office.

According to sources, Sharma has issued instructions to ask applicants to furnish photo identity proof along with the applications.

This follows a 2012 order of Punjab and Haryana high court that had asked the state information commission to seek photo proof along with applications but this directive was not issued to CIC.

The issue was raised in a recent meeting between RTI activists and CIC Sharma in which it was agreed that the reasons for “deficiency” would be made public so people know the reasons behind the application not being accepted by the CIC registry.

Sharma said on Friday that he was seized of the issue and efforts were being made to put the information online.