सोमवार, 15 अगस्त 2016

Citizen Report on Performance of Odisha Information Commission

Citizen Monitoring Report on “One Year Performance of Odisha Information Commission” from June 2015 to May 2016

·  Due to lack of knowledge, expertise and experience and sheer inefficiency, Odisha Information commissioners have miserably failed to give justice to the citizens.
·  Mrs. Sashi Prava Bindhani has devoted just 10 days for hearing in a month.
·  Disposal rate is very dismal leading to frustration among information seekers.
·  The contents of their decisions suffer from grammatical errors along with carrying no meaning at all.
·   Both the Information Commissioners dispose each just 2 cases   per month.
·   Both the Information Commissioners  draw salary of 2 lakhs  per month which is a great loss to state exchequer.

As per section 18, 19, 20 of RTI Act, the Information Commission is empowered  is empowered  to  hear and dispose  Second Appeal petitions and Complaint  Cases, ensure availability of information  to appellants/ complainants, impose penalty on defaulting PIOs and award compensation  to aggrieved  Information Seekers.  Besides that  the  Information  Commission  is required  to publish Annual Report for every year,  recommendation for reform to Public Authority, if any required for development, improvement,  modernisation,  reform or amendment to this Act   under section 25  of the Act.

Keeping it in view, RTI Application was filed by Sri Sanjay Sahu, RTI Activists and member of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan to the PIO, Office of Odisha Information Commission seeking information about details of days spent by each Information Commissioner for hearing of the case, total no. of complaint case heard ad disposed by Each IC, penalty imposed, compensation awarded and number of cases still pending for disposal from June 2015 to May 2016. It needs to be mentioned here that   both the Information Commissioners were appointed in the second week of June 2015.

On 13.7.16, In response to RTI Application, the PIO supplied the required information which is as follows.

1. No. Of days  devoted  for hearing by  both  the Information commissioners  from June 2015 to  16th May 2016
12 Months
                        No. of days devoted  for hearing
Sri L.N.Patnaik, SIC
Ms. Sashi Prava Bindhani, SIC
Average days  devoted for hearing  in a month
Analysis:- In an average while Sashi Prava Bindhani  spends just 10 days  in a month  for hearing, Sri  L. N. Patnaik devotes   only 15 days in a month.  God Knows what they are  doing rest of the days  in a month. 

2.       No. of Complaint/ Second Appeal Cases  heard  and disposed
Though  both of the State Information Commissioners ( SICs)   got  appointment  in second week of June,15 ,  but they started hearing of the case  in August, two months  later  of their appointment. So the analysis  of  the cases heard  and disposed  has been made  for 10 months  ( from August  2015  to May 2016). 

 No. of Complaint/ Second Appeal Cases  heard  and disposed

Complaint cases heard
Complaint cases disposed
Second Appeal cases heard
Second Appeal cases disposed
Total cases heard ( both Complaint and SA)
Total cases disposed ( both complaint and Second Appeal)
L.N.Patnaik, SIC
Sashi  Prava Bindhani, SIC
 Month-wise figure has not been cunningly  provided     by the PIO
Division Bench ( both the SICs sit together)

 ( N.B.- While analysing this figure,  the no. of cases heard and disposed  in Division  Bench  was  divided  between two SICs   in order  to arrive  at conclusion  about  no. of cases heard and disposed  by each of them )
a.In an average, Sri L.N.Patnaik, SIC hears 162 cases (132 own cases + 30 cases in Division bench) and disposes 35 cases (31 own cases + 4 Division bench)  in a month.  If  devotion of 15 days  for hearing of the case in a month by Mr. Patnaik  is  taken into  account, Sri Patnaik hears only 10 cases  per day  and disposes only  2 cases in a day.

b. Sashi Bindhani  hears 175 cases ( 145 own case + 30 cases in Division)  per month and disposes  31 cases  ( 27 own + 4  cases in division bench)  per month.  If  15 days is taken into account for hearing of the case in a month,  then Smt. Bindhani  hears only  11 cases   and disposes  only two cases in a day.

It needs to be noted here that Maharashtra Chief Information commissioner is disposing around 5000 cases in a year. It means   disposing 419 cases in a month. Similarly Central Information Commissioner is disposing each around 3300 cases in a year.  But Odisha Information Commissioners are disposing just around 350 cases in a year.

3.       Penalty:
Within one year of their functioning, while Sri L.N.Patnaik, SIC has imposed penalty against erring PIO in 23 cases, Smt. Bindhani, SIC imposes penalty on a single case and Division Bench has imposed penalty in PIOs in four cases which is less than four percent of total cases disposed by them   in which RTI Act was violated and the information denied.  The penalty has been imposed on lower level functionaries like clerks, Cashier, PEO etc. 

4.       Compensation
Both the Information Commissioners have not awarded any compensation under section 19 (8b) to any  aggrieved Citizen who had filed the cases after taking a lot of pains and hardships.

5.       Pendency
Around 5000 cases are pending in the commission for disposal since 3 years.  But this figure is doubtful.

6.          Language of the Decision
Mrs. Sashi Bindhani is very poor  in writing  English language  used in the content of the decisions. Let me refer  content of decision of a SA No.- 885/2014-

“ the Appellant  has filed  the Second Appeal memorandum  on 9.4.2014  alleging that  the  information sought  from the  PIO, O/0  the Chief District Medical Officer, Balasore through his RTI Application  dated 15.11.2013 in spite of  filling  of first appeal  petition  dated 16.12.2013”.   Does this sentence carry any meaning at all?

(Prepared  by Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482,Date- 14.8.16)

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