Srinagar, Jan 29: Ending suspense, Centre has formally extended the jurisdiction of Central Information Commission (CIC) to Jammu and Kashmir.
An official of General Administration Department said government has decided that jurisdiction of CIC would be extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
“The central RTI Act 2005 has replaced J&K RTI Act 2009 in the new Union Territory. All provisions of RTI Act 2005 have been enforced in J&K. The new Union Territory will have no separate Information Commission,” he said.
The official said over 230 second appeals and 140 complaints under the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act were pending for disposal in the State Information Commission (SIC) when it was dissolved.
Sources said a committee headed by Administrative Secretary General Administrative Department has also submitted its report to the government. It too has recommended that J&K should come under the purview of CIC.
“The committee has also spelled out actions required to be taken like re-designation of public information officers and other functionaries under the Act,” sources said.
RTI activist Sheikh Ghulam Rasool said that procedure of first appellate authority for disposing of RTI applications will be the same.
“However, for making second appeal or any complaint, the applicant has to approach CIC. This could be done by post or online. Applicant can approach CIC office personally also,” he said.
Sheikh, however, noted that there would be further delay in disposal of complaints. “Over 26,000 applications are already pending with the CIC. There will be huge delay in hearing cases,” he added.
The SIC was functioning with just one information commissioner. It had been left without a head for more than a year before it was wound up last year. At least seven commissions including State Information Commission (SIC) were closed by the Centre through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 on October 31.