Govt in two minds on CIC’s jurisdiction in J&K

Srinagar, Jan 9: Confusion reigns supreme as Union Territory government fails to decide whether to extend jurisdiction of Central Information Commission (CIC) to Jammu and Kashmir or not.

In November 2019, government constituted a five member committee to examine whether the new Union Territory would come under the purview of Central Information Commission or a separate Commission has to be constituted for the region.

Headed by Administrative Secretary, General Administrative Department, the committee was to submit report by December 26.

A member of the committee said they are yet to submit report to the government.

“The committee was also to spell out the actions required to be taken like re-designation of public information officers and other functionaries under the Act if Jammu Kashmir comes under Central Information Commission,” he said.

At least seven commissions including State Information Commission were abolished by Centre after Jammu and Kashmir became Union Territory on October 31.

Over two months have passed, but there is no clarity whether Jammu and Kashmir would come under the purview of Central Information Commission or a separate Commission would be constituted.

 “Government should have made an alternate arrangement before repealing the state acts,” an official of General Administration Department said.

The official said over 230 second appeals and 140 complaints under Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act were pending for disposal in the State Information Commission (SIC) when it was dissolved.

The SIC was functioning with just one information commissioner. It was without the CIC for more than a year before it was wound up last year.

“Pending cases are being treated just a pile of files until a new Commission is given power to address them,” he said. 

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