Smt. Sashiprava Bindhani, most Inefficient Information Commissioner in Odisha-Why
RTI is the most empowering law in India for the common people to think themselves as master of the country. This law has not only empowered to citizens to access the information held by the public authorities but right to inspection of records, documents and files in the offices of Public Authorities. Being empowered with RTI Act, the common people are using RTI to expose corruption as well as monitoring status of their grievance petitions and denial of entitlements by officials. In case of complaints or appeals about denial of information or hindrance by the PIO to access the information, the State Information Commission is empowered to hear and dispose the case giving justice to the complainant/ appellant. If anybody is aggrieved with order of the Commission, he or she is empowered to file complaint to Governor against State Information Commission under section 17 of the RTI Act seeking enquiry into it or challenge it in High Court. For this purpose, the copy of decision is required urgently from the office of Commission.
I am referring a case of Sashiprava Bindhani, SIC who has not only failed to write the decision properly but also took months together to send the copy of the order.
1. Being aggrieved of denial of the information by the PIO and First Appellate Authority, office of Directorate of State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha, I filed second appeal to Odisha Information Commission on 10.8.14.
2. After two years, Hearing of the case started in Odisha Information Commission. The case is registered as Second Appeal No. 1971/2014.
3. Smt. Sashiprava Bindhani , SIC who heard the case fixing several dates disposed my case on 11.1.2017.
4. It is generally expected that the copy of the decision will reach within few days.
5. But I received the copy of my decision on 10.4.17 , after around 3 months of disposal of the case.
6. The moot question is when Sashiprava Bindhani is drawing salary of Rs. 2,20,000/- per month with other allowances ad facilities and supported by a good number of Staff like Assistant Registrar, Law officer, Data processor and many more, why she hears only 14 cases in a day and takes 3 months to send copy of the order. Is she incapable to write proceedings and order of the case and lack judicial mind to quickly write the order. Or is she not academically sound to write order.
7. The primary work of the people in Judiciary and quasi-judicial bodies is to hear the case properly, deliver justice to aggrieved people and send copy of the order to petitioner quickly in order to help him/her to pursue his/her case in another forum, if she or he is not satisfied with the decision.
8. Is it not wastage of the public money?. Even, the proceedings of the order also suffer from many mistakes. Date of filling of Second Appeal, date of registration of Second Appeal, date of hearing of the cases, order of the Commission in different dates is not mentioned in the order.
9. As the PIO has deliberately denied the information on useless ground, Mrs. Bindhani exonerated him from penalty.
10. As the PIOs are being exonerated from penalty, they are seen encouraged to defy RTI Act and misbehaving the information-seekers.