Roy Objects to Proposals to Amend State RTI Law

8 August 2012

RTI activist and National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy has written to the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, to protest proposed amendments to the RTI law.

The state government in January proposed that applications being limited to a single subject and be less that 150 words. Alos applicants inspecting documents would be allowed only to bring in a pencil.

In her July 17 letter, Roy said section 6 (3) (ii) of the law allows requests to address multiple subjects.

Roy noted that Chavanin in the past has opposed word limits, noting that a 500 word limit is in place.

 “We will now be starting the agitations against the amendments all over again,” said Bhaskar Prabhu of Mahiti Adhikar Manch, who submitted the letter, according to a DNA news report. The Times of India has also written about the amendments.

Controversial Appointee Starts Cutting Backlog

Another recent controversy in the state involved the appointment of a new chiefinformation commissioner considered by some to be unqualified. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

The state commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad recently said he is working to speed up processing of requests with the aim of finishing all pending appeals within six months.

“I found that a large number of appeals are pending across the state. All regional commissioners will have to draft a strategy for early disposal. In 24 working days, since I took over, I have disposed of 400 appeals. I have decided to dispose of at least 550 appeals per month,” Gaikwad said, according to a Times of India report.

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