CIC junks ex-officer’s 6k RTIs but admits low accountability in Indian Air Force
CIC has decided a whopping 1,288 appeals filed by a retired Indian Air Force official in one go.
New Delhi: Mohali based retired Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force, Sanjeev Sharma, filed these appeals before the CIC on issues ranging from gifts given on farewell parties of the officers, felling of trees, working of AFWWA to contingency funds among others.
Sharma, now an advocate in the Punjab and Haryana high court, had filed 6,443 RTI applications with various wings of the Indian Air Force.
As his appeals carpet blowed the CIC, Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha, in his order, chided Indian Air Force for poor management of RTI-related matters.
Lack of sufficient number of CPIOs and APIOs which are deputed to handle Right to Information applications in a public authority, is a “serious concern”, he noted.
Justifying his decision to adjudicate 1,288 appeals in one go, he said this has been done since these RTI applications are seeking same information for different air commands.
Sinha appreciated Sharma’s efforts to expose alleged corruption but cautioned him that he should be aware of the spirit of the RTI Act.
Sinha, a former senior officer of Intelligence Bureau, said commission is of the opinion that the kind of time and resources spent by Sharma in filing these RTI applications and appeals do speak of certain kind of accountability which appears to be lacking in the IAF.
“It should be incumbent on the controlling officers to conduct appropriate workshops and sensitisation programmes regarding the various provisions of the RTI Act,” said Sinha.
Commenting on the development, RTI activist retired Commodore Lokesh Batra said it is a landmark order covering a comprehensive reading of the excerpts, analysis and submissions of both the parties and other Commissioners need to emulate the practice of such a well-drafted order.