State Chief Information Commissioner of Karnataka Information Commission, L Krishnamurthy pointed that there was a drastic decline in the rate of disposal of RTI applications over the years. He felt the need to speed-up the process in order to make the act effective.
Speaking at a one-day national seminar on ‘Right to Information Act 2005: An Experience of a Decade,’ organised by the Karnataka Institute for Law and Parliamentary Reform (KILPAR), Bengaluru and Vidhyavardhaka Law College, Mysuru, Krishnamurthy said that the effective disposal of the RTI applications had remained a challenge for commission hence measure were being taken to ensure all the applicants get what they look for.
Underlining the shortage between RTI applications filed and disposed in the state, Krishnamurthy said, “In the year 2005-06, the commission had received 10,600 RTI applications out of which only 943 were disposed. The next year saw a drastic increase of 328 percent followed by 40 percent average increase of applications till 2015. The commission received 6,80,427 applications alone in 2015 out of which 5,89,573 were disposed,” he said and added that around 31,000 applications were pending with the commission due to its obscurity.
Expressing concern over the ‘unnecessary usage’ of RTI act by a few people and RTI activists, Krishnamurthy said that the commission received a mere five percent of RTI applications which were in the interest of public and the rest were for personal gain.
“It is unfortunate that people are using RTI act as a tool for their personal gain. We receive 95 percent of applications seeking personal information of people rather than information which would benefit the people at large,” he said.
He further said that those who were misusing the act will have to face legal consequences as two people were already in judicial custody for the same.
Principal Secretary Department of Law, K Natarajan said that since the introduction of RTI Act corruption had declined.
Natarajan said the awareness about the RTI act should not only be restricted to law students.
Technical session on Ten Years of RTI -An Indian Experience’, `RTI and Media Law’ and ‘Historical Perspective and Judicial Response to the Concept of Right to Know’ were held.
State Information Commissioner, Karnataka Information Commission, K M Chandre Gowda, Prof and Head, Department of Legal Studies, University of Madras, Chennai, Dr A David Ambrose, Registrar, KILPAR, M Omkarmurthy, President, Vidhyavardhaka Sangha, Gundappa Gowda and others were present.