CIC to decide RTI appeals even after death of appellant: Govt

New Delhi: Transparency watchdog Central Information Commission (CIC) will now decide appeals and complaints even after the death of an appellant or complainant, the government has said.

Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur

The Right to Information (RTI) Act allows information seekers to approach the CIC to lodge second appeal and complaint in case they are aggrieved with government departments over disposal of their application filed under the law.

As per rules finalised in 2017, the proceedings pending before the CIC shall abate on the death of the appellant or complainant.

The latest directive assumes significance as some RTI activists have been killed in different parts of the country allegedly for seeking information related to some potential scams or irregularities in government departments.

Also, many RTI activists have opposed provisions of the 2017 rules, including the one that allows no action on appeals in case of the death of the appellant, saying they were aimed at diluting the Act.

Instances have occurred wherein appellant/complainant dies before their case is considered by the Commission, said a statement issued today by the Personnel Ministry, the nodal department for RTI matters.

The CIC considered this issue in its recent meeting and decided that in case of death of the appellant/complainant, the case will be heard as usual as second appeal or complaint and the decision will be put up on the website of the Commission, it said.